Sweet chestnut tree appearance wood uses and lumber
Sweet chestnut trees are very common throughout Europe, North Africa and Asia. This tree has visual similarities with the horse chestnut tree but is very different. The scientific name of the sweet chestnut is castanea sativa and is part of the fagaceae family. The sweet chestnut has been cultivated for many years. The Romans loved both wood and fruits of the sweet chestnut tree and millennia later people still do!
Sweet chestnut tree, leaf and fruit description
Sweet chestnut trees can grow to heights up to 110 feet or 33 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.
Sweet chestnut leaves are arranged alternate oblong to lanceolate shaped. This tree has nice leaves that can reach lengths up to 10 inches or 25 cm and vary in color from light green to yellow in autumn.
The sweet chestnut tree has round and spiny green shaped fruits. Inside up to three eatable smooth brown seeds are found. These chestnuts are full of vitamins and have good nutritious value. They are used in a wide range of products like beer, cookies, chestnut puree and more.
Sweet chestnut tree bark and trunk
Yong sweet chestnut trees have smooth green brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark gets more grayish, fissured and spirally twisted. The trunk of the sweet chestnut is not long and splits into many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 5 feet or 1.5 meters.
Sweet chestnut wood properties and durability
Fresh chestnut heartwood has a medium yellow to light brown color. Sapwood is lighter and more grey white to yellow white colored. Exposure to sunlight gives both wood types a darker color. Sweet chestnut wood is known for its coarse uneven and spiral texture and strong elastic properties. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 620 kg per cubic meter. The durability of sweet chestnut wood is classed as II moderate high durability. Under water sweet chestnut wood has proven to be one of the most durable wood types, like alder wood.
Sweet chestnut wood working tips and uses
Sweet chestnut wood nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. Pre drilling is advised when screws or nails are used.
Iron can cause colorations in the sweet chestnut lumber just like in cherry wood. Make sure when nailing to use non iron nails to prevent this.Fresh sweet chestnut when drying has a tendency to crack and warp.
Sweet chestnut wood is used in a wide range of products like
- turned articles
- in-house furniture
- and more!