quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2012

Tree Crops: Castanea sativa

In July 2011, we paid a visit to the old Chestnut Tree, the "king of the mountain".
It is located inthe bottom of a valley-gully, in between 2 very steep slopes. This creates here a special microclimate, with a minimum of sunlight reaching the tree leaves per year. The site is usually cool and damp as there is always some water running in the creek next to this tree.
Strangely all the branches we see in the pictures below belong to 1 single tree, which has inside it a new one, already yilding nuts, that started growing from a nut in it's collapsing rottenwood core.

From under its branches, we collect every autumn from 50 to 100 kilos of nuts, maintenance takes about 1-2 hours of work per year and it consists simply of removing ferns, a few herbaceous plants, and litter biomass, so that we can see the nuts on the ground to pick them.

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