<em>Phytophthora</em> on <em>Castanea sativa</em> Mill. (sweet chestnut) / 2nd revised edition

  • Simone Prospero
  • Andrea Vannini
  • Anna Maria Vettraino


European (or sweet) chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) is the only native species of the genus Castanea in Europe. The natural distribution range of C. sativa is probably located in the region of Asia Minor jutting out across the Black Sea region to the western Caucasus. Currently, this species is widely distributed from Western to Eastern Europe (http://www.discoverlife.org) in areas with mean annual precipitation higher than 600 mm, short drought season, and slightly acidic soils (pH 4.5-6.5) (Urbisz & Urbisz, 2007).
In Europe, the cultivation of C. sativa has a long tradition (Conedera et al., 2004). This species has a great rural economic value due to its edible fruits and excellent wood with optimal technological characteristics. Moreover, chestnut stands play an important agro-ecological role, e.g. protection against fire and erosion, habitat for wildlife, and recreation areas.
For commercial nut production, different cultivars (cultivated varieties) have been developed, including hybrids between European and Japanese chestnut (C. crenata). Cultivars differ in many characteristics as, for example, size and organoleptic properties of the nuts.