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SPECIES:  Castanea pumila
Chinquapin. Creative Commons image by John Ruter, University of Georgia,


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION: Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Castanea pumila. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: []. Revisions: On 2 March 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: Allegheny chinkapin to: chinquapin. Images were also added.
ABBREVIATION: CASPUM CASPUMO CASPUMP SYNONYMS: For Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis: Castanea alabamensis Ashe [4] Castanea ozarkensis Ashe Castanea ozarkensis var. arkansana Ashe [13] For Castanea pumila var. pumila: Castanea alnifolia Nutt. Castanea alnifolia var. floridana Sarg. [8] Castanea ashei Sudw. [8,16] Castanea floridana (Sarg.) Ashe [8] Castanea pumila var. ashei Sudw. [13,22] NRCS PLANT CODE: CAPU9 CAPUO CAPUP3 COMMON NAMES: chinquapin Allegheny chinquapin coastal chinquapin Ozark chinquapin chinkapin TAXONOMY: The scientific name of chinquapin is Castanea pumila (L.) Mill. (Fagaceae) [4,8,16]. Varieties are [10,13,34]: Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis (Ashe) Tucker, Ozark chinquapin Castanea pumila var. pumila, chinquapin, typical variety Chinquapin and American chestnut (Castanea dentata) hybridize, forming C. x neglecta Dode [16]. LIFE FORM: Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS: No special status OTHER STATUS: NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: The range of chinquapin extends from New Jersey and Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to eastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma, and southern Ohio [4,16]. Ozark chinquapin is limited to the Ozark highlands of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and has been extirpated from most of Alabama by chestnut blight [10].
Overall distribution of chinquapin (top), and distributions of the typical variety (bottom left) and Ozark chinquapin (bottom right). Maps courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC [30] [2018, March 2].
   FRES12  Longleaf - slash pine
   FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine
   FRES14  Oak - pine
   FRES15  Oak - hickory

     AL  AR  DE  GA  FL  KY  LA  MD  MS  MO
     NJ  NC  OH  OK  PA  SC  TN  TX  VA  WV


   K100  Oak - hickory forest
   K104  Appalachian oak forest
   K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest
   K112  Southern mixed forest
   K115  Sand pine scrub

    43  Bear oak
    52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak
    69  Sand pine
    70  Longleaf pine
    71  Longleaf pine - scrub oak
    72  Southern scrub oak
    75  Shortleaf pine
    80  Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
    81  Loblolly pine
    82  Loblolly pine - hardwood
    83  Longleaf pine - slash pine
    84  Slash pine


Chinquapin is locally abundant as a low, clonal shrub on
longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)-scrub oak (Quercus spp.) sand ridges and
hills that are burned frequently, and in open stands of planted pine on
ridges and hills.  It is less frequent in sand pine (P. clausa)-oak
scrub [8].  Ozark chinquapin is often associated with chinquapin oak
(Quercus muehlenbergii) in white oak (Q. alba)-black oak (Q.
velutina)-northern red oak (Q. rubra) cover types [26].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE: Chinquapin wood is light, hard, close-grained, and durable. It is used largely for fenceposts and fuel. It is not exploited for commercial timber because of its small stature and scattered occurrence [32,35]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE: Chinquapin nuts are excellent wildlife food and are consumed by squirrels, chipmunks, opossums, white-tailed deer, bluejays, pileated woodpeckers [31], red-headed woodpeckers [34], and many other birds [4,31]. Chinquapin is usually not a primary wildlife food due to its scattered occurrence [35]. It is, however, listed as an important species in the diet of southeastern fox squirrels (including five subspecies) [17]. White-tailed deer browse the foliage of Chinquapin [34]. PALATABILITY: In North Carolina, chinquapin had a high utilization rate (81% browsed) by white-tailed deer, even though it occurred in relatively low abundance [36]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Chestnut (Castanea spp.) meats were reported to contain 2.9 percent protein (fresh weight), 41 percent N-free extract, and 1.1 percent crude fiber [20]. COVER VALUE: NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES: Chinquapin (cultivar 'golden') has good potential for use in revegetation of disturbed sites, particularly because of its wildlife value and adaptability to harsh sites [9,10]. It is likely that many planners hesitate to use it because of the threat of chestnut blight infection. OTHER USES AND VALUES: Chinquapin nuts are sweet and palatable, considered better tasting than those of American chestnut (Castanea dentata), and have been bartered and sold commercially [28]. Chinquapin may be of value for breeding blight-resistant chestnuts with good-tasting nuts [10]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: Chinquapin has been variously reported as very susceptible to chestnut blight [34], moderately resistant to chestnut blight [28], and almost completely resistant to chestnut blight [35]. The disease has been blamed for the extirpation of chinquapin from most of Alabama, and as having severely reduced populations in the Ozarks. It is considered a threat to chinquapin in Texas [28]. Campbell and others [3] placed chinquapin on a list of species which are rare in Appalachian Kentucky, because there are fewer than 10 records of chinquapin for the region. They speculated that chinquapin has decreased in abundance because of fire suppression and chestnut blight [3]. Roedner and others [24] included Ozark chinquapin in a checklist of rare plants of the Ozark Plateau, Missouri, and reported it as endangered due to chestnut blight. It has been considered for inclusion in the Federal Register [19]. Chinquapin is a host to oak wilt [25]. In central Louisiana, an all-aged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)-shortleaf pine (P. echinata) stand was selectively harvested in 1958 for pines, and in 1959 and early 1960 for hardwoods. The stand had not experienced any fires since the early 1940's. Chinquapin was listed with a group of species whose importance value increased after overstory removal, from 1960 to 1970 [2]. Chinquapin is listed as susceptible to the following herbicides: 2,4,5-T, bromacil, dicamba, picloram, and silvex. It may resprout after herbicide treatment [1].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Chinquapin is a native, deciduous, rhizomatous large shrub or small tree [8]. Mature heights range from 6 to 65 feet (2-20 m) [4,7,8,32,35]. The bark of trunks is smooth with shallow furrows [35]. The stems of young shoots are pubescent to densely tomentose. The flowers are axillary catkins [8]. The involucre is a spiny bur 1 to 1.4 inches (2.5-3.5 cm) long, containing a nut which is 0.28 to 0.8 inch (7-20 mm) long [28].
Chinquapin flowers (left) and fruits (right). Creative Commons images by John Ruter, University of Georgia,

Chinquapin reproduces readily from seed.  It is monoecious,
self-incompatible, and wind pollinated [8,10].  Chinquapin
cultivar 'golden' seedlings may produce nuts as early as the second or
third growing season.  Nut crops are not large until the fourth or fifth
year.  Six-year-old plants produced 1,200 to 1,500 nuts per plant.
Seeds planted in the fall show good germination (> 90%); seeds stored
over the winter tend to dry out and germinate at much reduced rates
(< 50%) [9].

Chinquapin sprouts vigorously from the stump after top-kill
[28].  It spreads from the rhizomes, forming thickets or colonies [8].

Chanquapin occurs in xeric to mesic, thin or open mixed woods
on dry, rocky, sandy, or loamy soils [4].  It is typically found on
well-drained stream terraces, dry pinelands and sandhills, and disturbed
sites such as railroad rights-of-way, powerline clearings, fence and
hedgerows, pine plantations, and old fields [4,8,10,35].  Ozark
chinquapin is typically found on dry uplands in deciduous or mixed
woodlands, but also on cliff margins, talus slopes, and rocky ridges.
Chinquapin grows well on almost all soil textures except heavy
clay soils [9].

Chinquapin ranges in elevation from sea level to about 4,455
(1350 m) in the southern Appalachians [4].

Chinquapin is not highly shade tolerant, and occurs in open
woods and disturbed areas [8].  It is not competitive where overstory
trees begin to form a closed canopy; it is easily replaced by more
shade-tolerant species [10].  In Florida, it is a member of the
mid-successional pine (Pinus spp.)-oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya
spp.) type.  It is also a member of communities that remain seral
because of disturbances such as fire [15].

Chinquapin flowers from April to July, depending on latitude
[4].  The ripened nuts are available from September through November [31].


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS: Chinquapin forms extensive clones where it has been burned over annually or at short intervals. It occurs in burned-over longleaf pine-oak scrub and sand pine-oak scrub, and other disturbed sites [8]. Fire benefits chinquapin by removing or reducing shade-tolerant competitors and opening the overstory [10]. The bear oak (Quercus ilicifolia) type is a disturbance maintained type in which chinquapin is listed as an associate. It is restricted to poor, dry sites which have been disturbed in the recent past mainly by heavy cutting, fire, or both. It is favored by disturbance at frequent but not necessarily regular intervals [5]. FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY: Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT: Chinquapin is probably easily top-killed by most fires. Chinquapin was a member of the understory of a cut-over pine-hardwood stand that was prescribed burned to control hardwoods. While no specific figures on chinquapin mortality were given, the author stated that two fires top-killed 90 percent of the hardwood stems under 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, and set back hardwood succession. Larger stems (1 to 5 inches in diameter [2.54-12 cm]) experienced much lower mortality: 27 to 36 percent top-kill [27]. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE: Chinquapin sprouts vigorously following top-kill by fire [12]. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: No entry


SPECIES: Castanea pumila
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St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 238 p. [16452] 25. Riffle, Jerry W.; Peterson, Glenn W., technical coordinators. 1986. Diseases of trees in the Great Plains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-129. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 149 p. [16989] 26. Sander, Ivan L. 1990. Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm. chinkapin oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 697-703. [13974] 27. Silker, T. H. 1957. Prescribed burning in the silviculture and management of southern pine-hardwood and slash pine stands. In: Society of American Foresters: Proceedings of the 1956 annual meeting; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters: 94-99. [15279] 28. Simpson, Benny J. 1988. A field guide to Texas trees. Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press. 372 p. [11708] 29. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 30. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 2018. PLANTS Database, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (Producer). Available: [34262] 31. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240] 32. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 33. Tucker, Gary E. 1975. Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis (Ashe) Tucker, comb. nov. Arkansas Academy of Science Proceedings. 29: 67-69. [24236] 34. Hunter, Carl G. 1989. Trees, shrubs, and vines of Arkansas. Little Rock, AR: The Ozark Society Foundation. 207 p. [21266] 35. Brown, Russell G.; Brown, Melvin L. 1972. Woody plants of Maryland. Baltimore, MD: Port City Press. 347 p. [21844] 36. Lanner, Ronald M. 1980. Avian seed dispersal as a factor in the ecology and evolution of limber and whitebark pines. In: Dancik, Bruce; Higginbotham, Kenneth, eds. Proceedings, 6th North American forest biology workshop; 1980 August 11-13; Edmonton, AB. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta: 15-48. [1404]

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