I have planted Castanea chestnut seeds which have grown to seedlings. However, some of the seedlings have more than one stem, like this one:

Seedling with 2 stems

This one even has 3, all growing from the same seed: Seedling with 3 stems

Should I plant them in the ground as they are or should I prune the extra stems and leave only one?


Chestnut trees tend to do that. That's why in the old days they were used for wooden poles. So what they did, was cut some of the stems, which usually grow very upright, and wait years for new stems to grow from the ground. These new ones, when thick enough were then again harvested for poles. It is called coppicing. So your seedlings show already, in miniature, that they are ideal for this process.

You can do what you want, do you like to have one stem, prune away the other stems. Or leave them to get a more shrub like look.

There is a nice article here about Chestnut coppicing in the UK. It is also done in France, because when my father still lived (in South-West France), he had some very old Chestnuts (hundreds of years old ones) on his property, which showed signs of coppicing long time ago.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.