chestnut


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Related to chestnut: American chestnut

chestnut,

name for any species of the genus Castanea, deciduous trees of the family Fagaceae (beechbeech,
common name for the Fagaceae, a family of trees and shrubs mainly of temperate and subtropical regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The principal genera—Castanea (chestnut and chinquapin), Fagus (beech), and Quercus
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 or oak family) widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. They are characterized by thin-shelled, sweet, edible nuts borne in a bristly bur. The common American chestnut, C. dentata, is native E of the Mississippi but is now nearly extinct because of the chestnut blight, a disease from Asia caused by the fungus Crypthonectria parasitica, and the clear-cutting that resulted when lumber companies anticipated the destruction of chestnut forests by the fungus. The American chestnut was an important source of timber. Efforts have been made to breed a type of American chestnut resistant to the disease, by crossing it with the blight-resistant Chinese and Japanese chestnuts, in order to replace the old chestnut forests, and significant plantings of the largely American hybrids have been made. The dead and fallen logs were long the the leading domestic source of tannin. Chestnut wood is porous, but it is very durable in soil and has been popular for fence posts, railway ties, and beams. Edible chestnuts are now mostly imported from Italy, where the Eurasian species (C. sativa) has not been destroyed. The chinquapinchinquapin
[Algonquian], name for certain American species of the chestnut genus of the family Fagaceae (beech family) and for a related species, the golden chinquapin (Castanopsis chrysophylla), an evergreen of the Pacific states.
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 belongs to the same genus. Chestnuts are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Fagales, family Fagaceae.

chestnut

A light, coarse-grained, medium-hard wood, used for ornamental work and trim. See also: Wood

Chestnut

 

an arboreal plant of the genus Castanea of the family Fagaceae. There are 14 known species, distributed in North America, Japan, China, and the Mediterranean region. In the USSR, one species is found on the Black Sea Shore of the Caucasus and in Transcaucasia. The European, or Spanish, chestnut (Castanea sativa) is cultivated. The chestnut tree is large (height, up to 35 m; diameter, 2 m) and long-lived (500 and more years). It has a large, spreading crown and a strong, deep root system. The flowers, which are gathered into catkins, are small, unisexual or bisexual, and cross-pollinating. The fruits are nuts (length and width, 1.5– cm), with a delicate grayish brown woody pericarp. Three nuts are usually found in each involucre. The tree begins to fruit after 5–10 years. When the tree is 50 years old, it produces at least 70 kg of nuts (up to 1 ton per hectare).

The chestnut is demanding in terms of light, warmth, and moisture. The tree grows best on brown semihumid acid soils. Chestnut trees are cultivated in Italy, Spain, France, and the USA. In the USSR, they are grown in the Caucasus, the Crimea, Transcaucasia, and Moldavia. The nuts are edible in fresh and cooked form. They are used as an ersatz coffee and as an ingredient in candy. The chestnut kernel contains more than 60 percent starch, up to 17 percent sugar, 8– percent nitrogen compounds, and over 2 percent fat. Chestnut wood, which is of very high quality is valued in wood-working industries and is also used in construction. It is resistant to rot. The wood, the bark, and the nutshells, which are rich in tanning and dyeing substances, are used in the production of textile dyes. There are several types of chestnut trees; they differ in size, taste of the nut, and rate of growth. In the USSR, there are several varieties, including the large-fruited and small-fruited types. Foreign varieties include the Lyon and the Neapolitan; both have very large and tasty fruits.

Usually chestnuts are propagated by seeds. However, the best varieties are propagated by grafts and cuttings. The seeds are stratified in the autumn and planted in a nursery in the spring. The seedling stocks are then grafted with a fistula or bud. Chestnut trees are grown on slopes in deep, well moistened, fertile soils. Each seedling is planted in an area measuring 18 m X 18 m or 20 m X 20 m. The spaces between the rows are used for temporary plantings (for example, filbert trees). The crown of the chestnut tree is formed by 8– boughs and by a trunk measuring 70– cm high. The tending of the soil, including its fertilization and irrigation, is very similar to the care of apple orchards. The most dangerous insect pests are the moth and weevil. Chestnut trees are susceptible to several diseases, including root and trunk cancer and core brown rot. Besides the species of the family Fagaceae, there are species of the family Hippocas-tanaceae that are also called chestnuts, for example, the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum).

REFERENCES

Rikhter, A. A., and V. A. Kolesnikov. Orekhoplodnye kuVtury. Simferopol’, 1952.
Krotkevich, P. G. Kul’tury orekhoplodnykh. Kiev, 1954.

V. A. KOLESNIKOV

chestnut

[′ches‚nət]
(botany)
The common name for several species of large, deciduous trees of the genus Castanea in the order Fagales, which bear sweet, edible nuts.

chestnut

A light, coarse-grained, medium-hard timber; used for ornamental work and trim.

chestnut

1. any N temperate fagaceous tree of the genus Castanea, such as C. sativa (sweet or Spanish chestnut), which produce flowers in long catkins and nuts in a prickly bur
2. the hard wood of any of these trees, used in making furniture, etc.
3. 
a. a reddish-brown to brown colour
b. (as adjective): chestnut hair
4. a horse of a yellow-brown or golden-brown colour
5. a small horny callus on the inner surface of a horse's leg
References in classic literature ?
Jane," he recommenced, as we entered the laurel walk, and slowly strayed down in the direction of the sunk fence and the horse- chestnut, "Thornfield is a pleasant place in summer, is it not?
By this time day had fully broken and everything showed distinctly, and Don Quixote saw that he was among some tall trees, chestnuts, which cast a very deep shade; he perceived likewise that the sound of the strokes did not cease, but could not discover what caused it, and so without any further delay he let Rocinante feel the spur, and once more taking leave of Sancho, he told him to wait for him there three days at most, as he had said before, and if he should not have returned by that time, he might feel sure it had been God's will that he should end his days in that perilous adventure.
Before very long I reached a great chestnut avenue with a pile of buildings at the further end--the Chateau of Montpersan stood out against the sky like a mass of brown cloud, with sharp, fantastic outlines.
Florid, with white hair, the face of an old Jupiter, and the figure of an old fox-hunter, he enlivened the vale of Thyme from end to end on his big, cantering chestnut.
Lastly, her hair, which, from being light in her youth, had become chestnut, and which she wore curled very plainly, and with much powder, admirably set off her face, in which the most rigid critic could only have desired a little less rouge, and the most fastidious sculptor a little more fineness in the nose.
Oh, my wound -- mine -- 'tis nothing," replied the viscount; "it will be time to think about it when we next halt; only have the goodness, should you see a cavalier who makes inquiries about a young man on a chestnut horse followed by a servant, to tell him, in fact, that you have seen me, but that I have continued my journey and intend to dine at Mazingarbe and to stop at Cambrin.
I shall drive there in my carriage at two o'clock in the afternoon for three successive days; the first day it will be drawn by four white, the second by four chestnut, and the last by four black horses; but if you fail to keep awake and I find you sleeping, I shall not be set free.
Behind the chapel extended, surrounded by two high hedges of hazel, elder and white thorn, and a deep ditch, the little inclosure - uncultivated, though gay in its sterility; because the mosses there grew thick, wild heliotrope and ravenelles there mingled perfumes, while from beneath an ancient chestnut issued a crystal spring, a prisoner in its marble cistern, and on the thyme all around alighted thousands of bees from the neighboring plants, whilst chaffinches and redthroats sang cheerfully among the flower-spangled hedges.
The Emperor, surrounded by his suite of officers and courtiers, was riding a bobtailed chestnut mare, a different one from that which he had ridden at the review, and bending to one side he gracefully held a gold lorgnette to his eyes and looked at a soldier who lay prone, with blood on his uncovered head.
A log of chestnut was smouldering in a heap of ashes.
Inside the gate leaning out from her saddle and just closing it, was a young woman on a chestnut sorrel.
She kept on beside the shaggy man, who whistled cheerful tunes to beguile the journey, until by and by they followed a turn in the road and saw before them a big chestnut tree making a shady spot over the highway.