Golden Chinquapin

(Castanopsis chrysophylla)

Yellow leaves and spiny fruit
The golden chinquapin is a part of the beech family. The burr-covered fruit contains two triangular nuts popular with chipmunks and squirrels. The tree looks like a cross between a chestnut and oak, and the leaves are golden on the underside. It produces a unique and easily distinguishable spiny fruit that contains nuts that were eaten by Native Americans and wildlife.

Scattered, on well-drained, usually rocky soils in the foothill forests of the southern Willamette Valley and southwest Oregon, below 5,000 feet.

An evergreen broadleaf tree to 80 feet tall, or at higher elevations it may be a shrub. It has intermediate shade tolerance. Leaves remain on the tree for three to four years and are simple with no teeth, but with golden scales on the underside and a thinner layer on the topside.

Golden chinquapin can either be a subdominant tree or a dominant understory shrub, depending upon conditions like moisture, elevation and overstory density.

The golden chinquapin loves moist soil and sunlight.

Golden chinquapin will stump-sprout, so sprouts need to be thinned when managing for chinquapin or controlled when managing for conifers. As a shade-intolerant tree, pre-commercial thinning will encourage growth.


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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