Last winter I planted 3 mail-order hybrid chestnut trees. All three are Japanese/European hybrids. Depending on who you believe, they are fast growing, fast producing, and disease resistant. One was a seedling of Marissard, and two were grafted (Maraval and Marigoule). I made some mistakes in my thinking. I am not getting any younger. I want them to bear sooner rather than later, and seedlings take longer than grafted trees. In addition, the seedling was from a variety that does not have pollen, so it may also grow into a non-pollen producing tree. Hard to say, since maybe it would inherit the pollen producing gene from it's pollen parent?
The seedling and one hybrid variety (Maraval) grew fast - starting at 2 feet tall, now 7 feet tall. The other hybrid variety (Marigoule) was only 1 foot tall, and only grew about 4 inches. It does have nice, big dark green leaves.
My thought now, is that puny little one might have something wrong with it, maybe the scion is not not graft compatible with the rootstock, or maybe some other problem, and may continue to be very slow or even die out over the next season. That would leave me with only one good, known, pollen-bearing, fast growing hybrid.
Here are my thoughts -
1. Buy a replacement hybrid variety for the puny one. I can move that little tree to another spot, in case it decided to take off and grow. I have one picked out - called Regina Montis, which is said to grow fast and also produce pollen for the other hybrid.
2. Or, see how the puny one does in it's current place. Take a chance it might never grow, or might take too many years. But I want my own chestnuts in my lifetime
3. Buy scion and graft onto the seedling tree. I kind of hate to do that and interrupt what appears to be a good start. I'm good with grafting apples, pears, plums, but chestnuts are a complete unknown to me. Maybe the grafts wouldn't take, and the tree growth would be in interrupted for a year?
On another site, I was advised to leave the puny one in place, thinking that it will grow much faster the second year. But I don't know... It is still way behind what the other two were, when they were planted.
Any experience here with chestnuts? Do they graft easily? Do they sometimes take off and grow the second year, after a year lag? I would love to read thoughts and experiences.