Forests of Atlantic Europe 3: Spanish chestnut in southwestern France and northern Spain.

  • Edward P. Farrell Sequoia, Mart Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18.
Keywords: Silvopastoralism, multifunctionality, montado, wood-pasture.

Abstract

Spanish or sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) is a truly multifunctional tree, highly valued for both its fruit and its timber. In Europe, it is found mainly in a small number of countries with a long tradition of chestnut cultivation. It is particularly important in southwest France and northern Spain. It has been cultivated since Roman times and now occurs as high forest, as coppice and in orchards. Chestnut was historically a valued tree across the whole spectrum of society. Large plantations were established for coppice to provide poles for vineyards, and orchards supplied high-quality fruit for the rich. Peasant communities cultivated the tree for the dual purposes of wood and fruit production. The fruit provided an essential component of their diet through the winter months. The cultivation of chestnut is now declining. However, government-supported schemes are helping to improve neglected coppice and to restore old orchards and establish new ones.
Published
2014-11-01
How to Cite
Farrell, E. P. (2014). Forests of Atlantic Europe 3: Spanish chestnut in southwestern France and northern Spain. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/10138
Section
Articles