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decoration of city streets and parks - horse chestnut, can be seen in many parts of the middle band. The tree is widely used in landscaping, as it is characterized by high decorativeness throughout the warm season. In summer it gives a thick shade, in spring it blooms brightly and unforgettably, in the fall it pleases with an abundance of decorative fruits. The leaves of this tree are depicted on the symbols of cities in many countries. It is especially popular in Germany, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
Description of a tree chestnut
This tree is a deciduous large-sized tree, reaching a height of 30-35 m. It is well adapted to cold winters and a dry summer, therefore it adorns the city landscapes in the entire middle belt from the southern to the northern regions. It is a representative of the genus of the same name, but has nothing to do with the species giving edible fruits.
Tree Chestnut - Description:
- sprawling domed sprawling;
- barrel right cylindrical;
- root system rod;
- leaves opposite with 5-7 ovate leaves 15-30 cm long;
- inflorescence whisk with white speckled flowers of 20-40 pieces;
- fruit box with 1 nut inside.
Blossoms in May, leaves first open, then flowers appear. After the end of the flowering period, and it lasts 2 weeks on each hand, 1-3 fruits are formed. Boxes first green, covered with spikes. By autumn, they become brown in color, crack and show a nut. Small smooth chestnuts of brown color in length reach 3-4 cm. They are the main means of reproduction of plants in natural conditions of willows of the nursery. The harvest ripens in August-September.
During the flowering period, the plant is a good honey plant.
Homeland plants - Greece. In the wild form it can be found in Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, in the foothills of the Himalayas, climbing to a height of 1000 m above sea level. It can grow in the steppe - due to the strong root it is not afraid of gusty steppe wind. Where is chestnut growing yet? In nature, it is adjacent to ash, beech, alder and other hardwood trees. Cultivated in most CIS countries. In the suburbs of young trees often freeze slightly, as in St. Petersburg. Especially a lot of chestnuts in Kiev.
How to sprout a nut
Chestnut - large-sized with a developed root system. It is grown on large plots of land where there is a lot of light and there are no residential buildings nearby. How to grow chestnut walnut for landscaping the site? The main requirement for successful cultivation is the stratification of seeds before planting.
The larger the fruit, the higher the probability of obtaining a strong seedling.
Stratification can be natural and artificial. The fruit of the chestnut has a thick skin that reliably protects the sprout inside. That is why he is not afraid of cold and bad weather. But it is precisely the lowered air temperatures that awake the sprout for a long period of time. Under natural conditions, stratification occurs during the winter months on the ground, under a layer of fallen leaves.
To carry out the stratification in artificial conditions you need:
- to select the largest specimens of walnut-like fruits;
- pour a layer of river sand into a wooden box;
- put the fruit at a distance of 15 cm from each other;
- top with another layer of sand of at least 15 cm;
- put in the cellar or basement until spring.
If you need a lot of planting material, take a tall box and stack several layers of seeds alternating with layers of sand.
How to germinate chestnut in artificial conditions? In March-April, depending on the weather conditions, a box of seeds is taken from the basement and placed in a warm room, having previously moistened the soil. In a warm box should stand about 2-3 weeks. After that, the nuts are removed from the sand and soaked in warm water for 4-6 days. During this time, the fruit swells and sprouts will be easier to appear outside. The water in the tank is changed every day.
If the weather is cold and the spring is lingering, chestnuts can be planted in small containers with fertile soil to a depth of 5-7 cm and water well.
For successful germination, the air temperature should not fall below 7 ° C.
Horse chestnuts breed well in natural conditions. Without extra effort, you can get a strong planting material, if you look for overwintered and hatching nuts right under an adult tree. They are transferred to the desired area and planted in a temporary or permanent place.
Peculiarities of Cultivating
A tree grows quickly if it is provided with favorable conditions. How to plant chestnut correctly? To begin with, the planting area is cleared of weeds. It should be 50 to 50 cm square. The plant does not like acidic, saline or overmoistened soils, therefore, the planting area is chosen with sandy or chernozem soils, where the groundwater does not lie closer than 1 m to the ground surface.
Sprouted nuts are planted in May, when the threat of recurrent frosts is over. The fruit is deepened by 5-7 cm, sprinkled with soil and moistened, followed by loosening. Be sure to put a label next. In dry weather on sandy soils, regular watering of young seedlings is necessary during the entire dry season.
During the summer, the sapling grows up to 50-60 cm. The horse chestnut is higher in the photo in the first season after planting. In growing the tree is unpretentious, but in the first few years in harsh winters you need shelter with non-woven material. A pristvolny circle is sprinkled with peat or fallen leaves, and the crown is wrapped with a material such as a spunbond, but only with the probability of establishing strong frosts, this is not necessary in advance.
If the area where the tree is planted is really big and the extensive root system will not inhibit the growth of other plants, it is shortened. This is done on young saplings, by partial pruning of the main taproot. This gives an incentive to develop lateral processes, which increases the resistance of the tree to strong winds and improves its nutrition.
From this procedure, the crown is also becoming thicker and more decorative. In hot regions, where there is a high probability of prolonged heat with air temperatures of 30 ° C, seedlings are planted in partial shade to avoid burning leaves. Burnt leaves turn brown and dry out, significantly reducing the decorativeness of the plant.
Horse chestnut is good because it is almost not damaged by insects and diseases. For several years it grows into a full-fledged tree, the crown of which gives the desired shade in the summer heat. When grown far from the city, fruits, buds and bark can be used for medicinal purposes.
The use of horse chestnut in landscape design
In urban landscaping, chestnut is used much more often than in home gardens. From trees form smooth shady alleys in parks or planted in single specimens in combination with other deciduous or coniferous species. You can clearly see in the photo how the chestnut tree is blooming and how decorative it is during this period.
The plant belongs to the long-lived, under natural conditions, lives up to 300 years, so it is so often used in gardening. Today there are many varieties of ordinary horse chestnut. Especially decorative look with a hanging form of the crown. There are subspecies in the form of a bush, reaching only 2 meters in height, there are dwarf trees and standard forms. They all fit perfectly into landscapes of different types, from rustic gardens to elegant English and French.