Shhh! Top Secret! Just between you and me, the Chestnut Orchard Solutions team came up with 52 valuable hints that we shared with you. We hope you were able to return each week to retrieve all the chestnut hints. Here is the last Hint.
Week of June 1-7, 2017.
This last COS Hint, number 52 in 52 weeks, is the hint to help you achieve best chestnut production.
Establishing (planting) the chestnut trees in the orchard is the single most difficult step of the entire process. Put your time and effort into the planting hole, staking, painting, weed management, and deer and mouse management. Know that you will see trees die.
After establishment everything else is easy and stop messing with the trees!
HELP THEM GROW–DON’T OVER PRUNE–OVER WATER–OVER FERTILIZE
The only pruning in the young orchard that needs to be done is the removal of sprouts coming from the roots.
Manage weeds, insects, sunscald and nutrients
Finally, understand that weather, including too much rain, frost and low winter temperatures, combined with drainage of natural and applied water hurts the trees more than any other single problem.