• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Castanea sativa

sweet chestnut

sweet chestnut

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names sweet chestnut
    Spanish chestnut

    common chestnut
    Eurasian chestnut
    Sardian nut
    European chestnut

    see more
  • Synonyms Castanea vesca
    Castanea vulgaris

  • Family Fagaceae

  • Genus Castanea are fast-growing and large deciduous trees or large shrubs, with long, toothed leaves and conspicuous yellow catkins followed by spiny fruits

  • Details C. sativa is a large vigorous deciduous tree with rugged, grooved bark and glossy, serrate, oblong-lanceolate leaves to 20cm in length. Male catkins to 15cm in length, yellowish, followed by spiny fruits containing edible nuts

  • Plant range S. Europe, N. America, SW Asia, N. Africa


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Spreading / Branched

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Neutral


  • Ultimate height Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in well-drained soil in full sun

Propagation Propagate by seed or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types Drought Resistant Architectural

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases A canker caused by Phytophthora and a leaf spot can be a problem. Susceptible to Chestnut blight.

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