Water needs

The chestnut is a tree present in all regions of Italy mainly in the wild. Its ideal habitat is the woods characterized by a not too harsh winter climate and summers with temperatures above 25 ° C. It is a tree that fears water stagnation, the cause of root rot, and the constant presence of humidity, but at the same time cannot tolerate prolonged summer droughts. Younger specimens are particularly prone to this problem, for this reason in the hottest and poorest months of rain they should be irrigated at intervals of about 20 days, while for adult plants a one-off irrigation intervention is sufficient; the irrigation activities, in both cases, must be interrupted with the arrival of the rains. On the contrary, during the winter, it is not necessary to water the plant.

Attention required

The chestnut is a very delicate tree, which if well cared for can even exceed a century of life. First of all, it does not tolerate water stagnation or excessively compact soils, so it is good to use a draining soil. Furthermore, this tree can reach very large dimensions, therefore it should not be implanted in the immediate vicinity of another plant, with which it could compete for the ground. Pruning must be minimized to avoid the risks of infection that are related to these interventions. The chestnut prefers ventilated areas and not constantly exposed to sunlight, especially in the hottest months of the year, and can be grown at a maximum altitude of 1,200 meters. Near the chestnut harvest,

How to fertilize

The best fertilizer to supply to the chestnut is bovine or horse manure, to be planted about 15 centimeters deep, to favor its absorption by the roots. If the soil does not reach a quantity of organic substance of 2%, about 300 quintals of manure are needed per hectare. The area occupied by a chestnut tree must be deprived of weeds, an activity which – when the plant has reached adulthood – can be carried out by grazing sheep and goats, while during the growth phase, leguminous plants can be approached. they can provide additional organic substances. Furthermore, chestnut is very sensitive to the pH of the soil, which must be slightly acidic (between 5 and 6.5); Neutral or basic pH values ​​can lead the plant to wilt.

Chestnut: Diseases and parasites

In recent years there has been a drastic reduction in the production of chestnuts due to a very widespread disease, namely bark cancer. This disease, caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, attacks the plant starting from the wounds (present on the bark or due to the pruning of the branches) and manifests itself with red spots surrounding the trunk, leading it to death. The fungus attacks all woody parts of the plant, with the exception of the roots, and over the years it shows small orange spheres, which are the reproductive structures of the fungus. The disease can be prevented by disinfecting wounds with copper salts. Another fungal disease that attacks the chestnut is the so-called ink sore: this syndrome causes yellowing of the leaves and a reduction in flowering; in the most serious cases, after a few weeks, it causes the death of the tree. Also in this case it is advisable to disinfect the wounds of the tree with copper salts, as well as avoid water stagnation, home of the fungi.

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