The Ultimate Food Plot Tree

Plant Dunstan Chestnuts™ to grow the hardiest, most blight-resistant chestnut trees.

Shop Dunstan Chestnut

The American chestnut was once the most important food and timber tree in Eastern American hardwood forests. Nutrient-dense chestnuts served as the primary mast source for a wide range of wildlife – bears, turkeys, squirrels, hogs – and especially Whitetail deer.

In 1904, a fungal chestnut blight was accidentally imported from Asia. By 1950, the blight had decimated 30 million acres of chestnut forests, leaving a nutritional gap in the American hardwood ecosystem and dramatically altering the landscape.

The Dunstan Chestnut fills that gap. Bred by our great-grandfather, noted plant breeder Dr. Robert Dunstan, the Dunstan Chestnut has demonstrated 50 years of success throughout the United States. A result of cross-breeding American and Chinese varieties, the Dunstan produces the large, sweet nut of the American chestnut, and holds the blight-resistant qualities of the Chinese chestnut.

Superior Nutrition, Irresistible Flavor

What once was one of the most populous and useful hardwood trees in America was staring extinction in the face. The future of the American chestnut looked hopeless.

In the early 1950’s, James Carpenter sent budwood to Dr. Robert T. Dunstan after discovering a single living American chestnut in a grove of dead trees in Salem, Ohio. Dunstan, a well-known plant breeder then living in North Carolina, grafted the budwood onto chestnut rootstock, breeding future varieties that would eventually be called the Dunstan Chestnut.

Dr. Dunstan took his chestnut hybrids and put down roots in Alachua, Florida in 1962. Nineteen years later, his grandson Bob started Chestnut Hill Nursery in partnership with Debbi Gaw. Being no strangers to challenge, Bob and Debbi established the tree farm with the desire to reforest North America with chestnut trees. Building on the foundations of Dr. Dunstan’s work, we continue to share our knowledge and passion for living things by serving as a nationally-recognized leader in the introduction of new plant varieties that thrive in a range of habitats.

A Must for
Quality Mast

Dunstan Chestnuts are the perfect food plot tree. This hardy, fast-growing tree has a vast growing range that stretches from Florida to Wisconsin. Chestnuts bear nuts in 3–5 years, compared to 10–20 years for oaks, and can produce up to 2,000 pounds per acre at maturity. Chestnut also produces nuts annually, whereas oak only produces nuts every other year.

Good for Deer,
Good for the Land

Chestnut trees produce a high quantity of nuts in order to reproduce and reforest the land. This excessive production of nutrients is an important part of the diet for many wildlife species as they prepare for winter. Chestnuts played a significant role in the ecosystem, and after being wiped out, left a massive nutritional gap in American habitat.

If you’re serious about deer management, if you want to sustain wildlife while also improving the land that sustains you, then plant Dunstan Chestnuts. Watch them flourish and produce nuts year after year. Watch the deer come.

Alachua, FL

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