Castagno di Taccarelle – Taccarelle Chestnut Tree

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Castanea sativa L.

Taccarelle di Petralia Sottana is a municipality in the province of Palermo, located within the protection “zone B” in Madonie Park, at an altitude of 2.952-3.608 ft. It’s an area rich in woods, mushrooms and, above, all centuries-old chestnut trees. Among those plants, there’s a 78.7-ft high specimen with a maximum circumference of 22.3 ft (already reaching 16.7 ft at the height of 4.26 ft from the ground). Its crown is about 82×65-ft wide. It is truly an impressive tree, featuring
a monocormic, robust and cylindrical trunk, in good general conditions.

How to reach it

Take the SP 54 Road to Piano Battaglia.

Botanical Card

The common chestnut is widely spread throughout Southern Europe, boosted, in the ancient centuries, by human cultivation for its nutritious fruits. This species is moderately heliophilic and suffers from late frosts. It grows well in the presence of a sub-oceanic climate, while it tends to avoid continental environments. It prefers loose, fresh soils, rich in nutrients such as potassium and phosphorus, with an acidic or sub-acid reaction.

The typical chestnut tree grows at between 656 ft and 2.700 ft above sea level in the Alps, while it tends to reach higher altitudes, 3.280-4.265 ft, in the southern Apennines. This species is mainly cultivated for its fruits, while the tannin in its bark is used for hides. Chestnut trees are also appreciated as an excellent firewood.

The Castanea sativa Mill. is a large deciduous and very long-lived tree, which can live for more than 500 years. It belongs to the family and originated in south-east Europe. It is a moderately thermophilic and heliophilous plant that can vigorously re-grow when coppiced. Its root system is not very deep and prefers loose soils rich in potassium and phosphorus with a slightly acid reaction.

In Italy, chestnut trees can be found throughout the mountain range of the Apennines and the major islands, as well as in the foothills of the Alps. It is cultivated for the production of chestnuts and wood.
Grinding the fruits, a precious flour is obtained – it used to be an essential ingredient of rural food, also thanks to its high caloric content.

Chestnut trees are highly melliferous and pollinating plants, which have found their perfect place also in many apiaries. Chestnut honey is particularly rich in fructose, has a dark colour, a bitter aftertaste and can avoid crystallization for a long time.
The wood is more resistant than that of other trees and is thus suitable for outdoor furnishing.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Petralia Sottana(PA)

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