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You've probably seen chestnuts with brown leaves in the middle of summer. These trees are definitely not healthy. The horse chestnut leaf miner moth is usually responsible for this. But other diseases and pests can also be fatal to a chestnut.

Diseases can often be recognized by the leaves

Which diseases most often threaten the chestnut?

Chestnut bark cancer manifests itself in reddish discolored and later cracking bark. It is triggered by a very aggressive fungus and has already destroyed entire stocks. That is why bark canker is probably the most dangerous disease in sweet chestnuts. Trees whose bark is already damaged or injured are particularly at risk.

The ink disease occurs particularly often on sweet chestnuts that are in moist, impermeable soil. It is caused by fungi invading the roots and cutting off the water supply. This causes the leaves to wilt and parts of the crown to die off. A dark liquid oozes from the trunk in some places, giving the disease its name.

The fruits themselves, the chestnuts, can also be attacked by pests, namely the chestnut borer or the chestnut moth. The chestnut borer is a small weevil that eats the chestnuts from the inside. The chestnut moth lays its larvae in the fruit.

How can I protect my chestnut from diseases?

The best protection against various diseases or infestation with pests is still a well-suited location and the right care. Plant your chestnuts in a warm, sunny spot with slightly acidic, humus-rich soil. Balance the nutrients with a fertilizer containing potassium and prevent the plant from standing with wet feet for too long.

In the case of an infestation with the dreaded chestnut bark canker, the sweet chestnuts can now be vaccinated with the help of a less aggressive fungus. Putting a belt of corrugated cardboard around the trunk helps against chestnut moths. It is best to look for a resistant variety that is suitable for your region before you buy a chestnut.

The most common diseases of the sweet chestnut:

  • chestnut rind cancer
  • ink sickness
  • chestnut moth
  • chestnut borer


If you have just decided to plant one or better several sweet chestnuts, then it is best to choose resistant varieties.

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