Is this an American Chestnut?


New Member
These 2 trees are roughly 30-40 feet tall and look great even after our hard zone 5 winter last year. They appear to have lots of nuts and burrs. The local orchards/nursery’s with Chinese and Badgersett chestnut trees aren’t selling nuts this year because the trees didn’t produce nuts. These trees are located in east central Iowa and they are just now beginning to drop the small nuts. My question is, are these true American Chestnuts?
The necessary detail is hard to see in those pictures, but it does appear to be a sunburst pattern in at least some of those nuts. Based on what I've seen, I would lean toward American at this point. I would recommend going through the process to report a tree with the American Chestnut Foundation. The instructions are at that web-site I gave you earlier.

The size of the trees and cold tolerance you mentioned has nothing to do with my thinking here. I've seen Chinese Chestnuts over 80 feet tall and they are hardy into Zone 4. But, your pictures lead me to believe they are probably American. Good luck.
Chances are probably not, especially, if they are near people. I sent samples of locally legendary supposed C dentata's to the below in August. They were complex hybrids.

Twig with 3 or 4 fully expanded leaves, flat between paper, to Sandra Anagnostakis, CAES, P.O.Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504

She will id samples. She was a researcher in the fungus\chestnut arena for years.
Thanks for the responses, I guess if it is a hybrid which it sounds like it is I am still impressed with it. If I get time I will send samples or report it to the ACF for confirmation one way or the other. Our winter here last year set in early and I think a lot of other trees did not have time to harden off. Those trees did not produce nuts and had some die-back. Red-Fern Farm is a couple hours south of me, they have many varieties of chestnut trees. They cancelled "u-pick" chestnuts this year, which is their main source of income because the trees did not produce. This tree, 2 hours north appears to have lots of nuts and zero die-back.