Chestnuts make wonderful, dense shade trees where there is space to accommodate them and where their litter and rank-smelling pollen won’t be too obtrusive. All have handsome dark to bright green foliage. Small, creamy white flowers in long (8–10-in.), slim catkins make quite a display in summer. The large edible nuts are enclosed in prickly burs. Nuts fall to the ground when ripe. Gather daily, remove from burs, and let dry in the sun (shade in hot climates). Plant two or more trees to ensure cross-pollination and a substantial crop; single trees bear lightly or not at all. Give occasional deep irrigation.
Dense, twiggy, rounded; to 8–9 ft. tall and wide. Sometimes grafted high to make a standard tree. Purple buds open to very fragrant ice blue flowers. Leaves 2 to 4 1/2 in.