Allegheny Chinquapin is a colonial, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree usually around 15 feet tall, taller if grown with single stem or cultivated with little competition. It is native to dry woods and ridges in the Southeastern states, and grows well where summers are hot. It is considered undervalued as a nut tree because its nuts are very sweet and edible, the plants bear nuts early (after only 3-4 seasons) and close to the ground, and they are quite prolific. However, the nuts are sometimes difficult to separate from the burr in which they grow, and also dificult to harvest en masse because they ripen gradually over time, limiting their commercial potential. Consequently, the shrub is valued more as an excellent source of wildlife food and habitat. Small mammals and many bird species feed voraciously on the nuts and the low lateral branches and suckering shoots offer cover for Wild Turkey and Grouse. Closely related to the American Chestnut, it is less susceptible to the Chestnut Blight but not totally resistant. Trees can more often than not recover, but are susceptible to the blight. For this reason it is less often planted by land managers, exacerbating the problem of habitat loss to development. We highly recommend Chinquapin for wildlife, if not for formal landscaping.