Chestnuts are pretty rare in most of North America. Once one of the most important trees in the forest of the Appalachian Mountains, it was taken out by a relentless invasive disease called chestnut blight that killed 4 billion trees in about 50 years. Luckily, some trees continued to sprout, but they rarely produce nuts. You may be familiar with the Christmas Song ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire") but studies indicate that most Americans have never eaten a chestnut.
Chances are your first chestnut will be tasted in a Michigan or Tennessee beer brewed with TREEBORN'S chestnut chips.
Why Michigan? In Michigan, we found populations of chestnut trees that survived chestnut blight due to a naturally occurring biological control--THE ONLY PLACE IN NORTH AMERICA WHERE POPULATIONS OF CHESTNUT TREES HAD BLIGHT BUT WERE SURVIVING. Researchers found that chestnut blight disease got messed up with its own disease allowing the trees to continuing growing. Today, Michigan chestnut growers farm chestnuts in their orchards and harvest the chestnuts each fall. The trees still get chestnut blight, but we use that naturally occurring biological control found in Michigan to keep the orchard trees alive and producing nuts. Michigan now has more growers and more acreage devoted to chestnut production than any other state.