The American chestnut was once the most common tree in eastern North America and the most important source of mast for game and wildlife before the chestnut blight killed off 30 million acres of trees in the early 1900s. Thankfully, the chestnut is making a comeback in the form of the Dunstan Chestnut.
These days, Dunstan Chestnuts are the most widely planted chestnuts in America. These blight-resistant trees have produced the best quality nuts by commercial orchardists all over the U.S. for the past 30 years. They bear in only two to four years and produce more high quality nutrition per acre than any oak species or hybrid. In fact, one tree will bear 10 to 20 lbs of nuts by the time it is 10 years old, before most oaks even start to bear. The sweet-tasting nuts are high in carbohydrates and protein, and have no bitter-tasting tannin like oaks, which make them irresistible to deer. They are the best food plot tree, period.
Realtree Nursery grows the best quality Dunstan Chestnut trees using root-enhancing pots and advanced production techniques. Realtree Nursery’s Food Plot Trees, including the Dunstan Chestnut, will be available at select Wal-Mart stores beginning in March and April in Ga., Ala., Tenn., Ky., N.Y., Pa., Ohio, Mich. and Ill. Dunstan Chestnuts , Sawtooth Oaks, American Persimmons and Native Crabapples will be available in 3-gallon (2-year-old) pots, with a retail price of $20 each. Ask at your local Wal-Mart garden center and hunting department to see if they will have the trees, as not all stores will carry them. The stores that will receive trees will be listed on the Realtree Nursery website home page: www.realtreenursery.com.
If your local Wal-Mart store does not have them this year, you can still order trees directly from the website or by calling toll-free 1-855-386-7826. Trees can be shipped via UPS until mid-April, or picked up at the farm year-round.