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Allegheny Chinquapin Tree
Allegheny Chinquapin Tree

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Chinquapin tree, Castanea pumila, also called the 'dwarf chinquapin tree', grows as a native nut tree to the United States, and the Allegheny chinquapins are small nuts, about the size of a nickel coin with a thin shell and a very sweet kernel that is gathered from forests in the fall when ripe and either eaten raw or toast or baked in cakes and pastry confections.  The burrs of the chinquapin tree are sharp and prickly, and the nuts only grow one nut in one burr, but in large clusters that when mature open, and the nuts fall to the ground.  Wildlife animals and game birds begin to gather beneath the trees in the fall in an attempt to eat the nuts before the children get there, but usually the nuts ripen in such abundant quantities that there are plenty of chinquapin nuts for the kids and the wildlife animals.

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