The Chestnut Orchard

Bill and Sue Ellen Stouffer planted the first 250 chestnut trees on Cedar Hill Farms in the spring of 2009. Additional trees have been added, bringing the total count to 1400 chestnut trees, encompassing 20 acres of rolling central Missouri hillside. That’s over 5 miles of chestnut trees! As of the fall of 2017, 400 trees are producing a significant chestnut yield and more is on the way as the younger trees mature into full production.

The Stouffers worked closely with the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry in establishing their orchard. They planted Castanea mollissima or Chinese chestnut trees which, while native to China, thrive in central Missouri, tolerating the high summer heat and humidity typical of this part of the country. These trees are resistant to the chestnut blight that devastated the native American chestnut species, and produce a large, sweet tasting chestnut. Specific varietals grown in the orchard include Qing, Peach, Gideon, Khor and Sleeping Giant.

Brian De La Torre