Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hickory and Chestnut Trees

This is one of the very few Hickory trees in the City of Seward. It is at the home of a fellow who works for the Lower Platte South NRD, and planted this one and another in front of their house a few years ago. The second tree, to the left of the colorful one is also a Hickory but apparently a bit different since it is still green. It takes nut trees over 15 years to produce fruit and I could find no evidence of any on the ground.
In addition to picking up a few leaves from this tree on my way in from the golf course, we drove up to Garland to check on a couple Chestnut trees that I've watched for many years. I remember my Dad pointing them out to me many years ago and saying they were probably planted by an MD that lived there at one time. It is possible that these trees could be 100 years old. A young man and his son that live there now did provide us with some of the fruit still in the "husk" with little "stickers" as well as some of the acorns out of the husk. The leaves of the Hickory and Chestnuts trees are similar  in that there are 5-7 leaves on one stem(All of which is shaded) but the Chestnuts leafs all seem to emerge from the end of the stem whereas the Hickory leaves are located along the stem and are considerably larger.
I remember seeing white blooms on the Chestnut trees in Garland which leads me to believe they are Horse Chestnuts. I understand we are on the western edge of where native Chestnuts grew before a blight in the 1930's wiped out most of them. My Dad helped Uncle Clarence "put up wood" on the farm next to Grandpa Walker's and I believe they were Chestnuts trees that had been killed by the blight. I also remember coming across some Chestnuts growing in a wooded area east of Bee when I was on an SCS survey crew working on PL-566 Watershed Dams.

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