Castanea dentata X mollissima

Castanea dentata X mollissima

In 1962, seedling trees from the first cross began to bear. Selecting the individuals with the most hybrid characteristics, Dr. Dunstan crossed them back to the American and Chinese parent trees. The resulting second generation was moved to Alachua in north central Florida, on our nursery property, where the trees have been growing and bearing every year for almost 50 years!

In 1984 we planted a second grove of 500 trees using both grafts and seedling Dunstans, and many are now over 50' tall and 12-16" in diameter. These Dunstan Hybrid Chestnuts show a combination of American and Chinese traits. They are healthy, vigorous, and bear heavily every year. We have chosen several cultivars that have the very best combination of nut and tree characteristics. The Dunstan Chestnuts are the first chestnuts to ever receive U.S. Plant Patents.

The blight-resistant Dunstan Chestnuts make possible the re-establishment of chestnut trees and chestnut orchards in America.


There has not been a single reported instance of Dunstan Chestnuts dying of blight infection in over 30 years. This includes research and breeding programs as well as the many other locations where the Dunstan Chestnuts have been grown throughout the nation.

Dunstan Chestnuts have been tested for resistance by inoculation with blight. No significant canker formation was observed for 4 years. Limited growth of the blight cankers was seen on only a few trees and, in most cases, the inoculation wound healed completely.

Reports from growers at over 2,000 locations around the U.S., from New England to Michigan, south to Florida and Texas and the Pacific Coast have shown that the Dunstan Chestnuts have excellent survival, growth and nut production in a variety of climates, from Zones 5-9.

High Rock Farm in Greensboro, NC - 12-15 years old, average production 52 lbs/tree!

Many chestnuts sold in the U.S. are not blight resistant, such as seedling American chestnuts, or European x Japanese hybrids. Blight resistance is extremely important, even in areas that currently do not have blight. Accidental outbreak can destroy susceptible trees. In blighted areas (most of the U.S.), only blight-resistant trees will produce.

Dunstan Chestnuts produce heavy yearly crops of very large and sweet-tasting nuts. The nuts average 15-35 nuts/lb, as compared to Chinese nuts (35-100/lb) and American nuts (75-150/lb). They are much better tasting than imported European nuts and are never bland or bitter. The nuts peel easily, unlike imports, that have clinging and ingrown pellicles (seed coats). The nuts ripen in September and October and most fall free from the burrs for easy harvesting. Dunstan Chestnuts can produce nuts in only 3-5 years after planting.