This beautiful plant is undoubtedly an ornament of our planet. The chestnut tree belongs to the beech family. Scientists suggest that it existed in the Tertiary period. In the past, its distribution area was much larger than today: it grew in Asia Minor, on Sakhalin and the Caucasus, in Greenland and North America, on the shores of the Mediterranean. The homeland of chestnut is considered to be Asia Minor and the Caucasus.
The modern chestnut tree is about 2 meters in diameter, and grows to a height of 35 meters. There are exceptions, as the “Chestnut of a hundred horsemen” of gigantic size grew in Sicily, it was almost 20 meters across. The leaves of the tree are quite large - up to 25 cm in length, the width of the plate is 8 cm. On the shoots they are arranged spirally. Leaf color varies by seasons. In spring, they are brown-red, green in summer, and golden yellow in autumn. In adult trees, the crown begins from a height of at least 7 meters, the lower branches disappear. After the leafing of the plant immediately begins to bloom.
Fruits - the main wealth
In ancient times, people understood that the chestnut tree can be used for its own purposes. Its nuts in some areas of the planet, where it is impossible to grow cereals, were the main component of human food. Flour obtained from fruits by the presence of
nutrients exceeds wheat, and, mixing them, it was possible to significantly improve the taste and quality of bread. The nuts themselves were also used in food - they were boiled, fried, dried.
In the service of a man
Chestnut tree is widely used today. Its fruits are used not only in the food industry, but also in medicine, and excellent furniture is made from wood. Chestnut is an excellent honey plant; a single adult tree can produce up to 20 kilograms of honey. Wood is also used in construction, and natural dyes are obtained from bark and leaves. But the main wealth of chestnut is its fruit. Annual world production of nuts reaches one and a half million tons.
The right to be called a chestnut real, or noble, only the chestnut seed (Castanea sativa) has the right. But he has a relative who is by popularity
significantly inferior to his fellow man, but is well known in Russia. This is an ordinary chestnut, in our country called horse. In these two species, only the fruits are similar, and the leaves and flowers are completely different. They even belong to different families. This belongs to beech, and horse - to horse-chestnut.
Tree - a traveler from the Balkans
More recently, horse chestnut was rarely found in central Russia. And although the city of Kiev was already fully decorated with these magnificent trees, in the territories north of the capital of Ukraine he was considered a heat-loving guest performer. Today, chestnut, the cultivation of which has become commonplace with us, is considered to be its own in many Russian cities. And few people remember that his real homeland is the forests of the Balkan Mountains. In Europe, horse chestnut has long been revered as an outstanding tree that can decorate any park. A special charm gives him an impressive stocky trunk, grayish-white bark and large seven-fingered leaves.