City planting chestnut trees

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

City of Brewton Public Lands Manager Steve Layton looked at the habitat below the board walk and thought it would be an excellent place for some chestnut trees.
Soon afterward, the public works department began work to install the new hardwood trees.
Layton, who has a background in wildlife management, said the chestnut tree is a hardwood tree and is a good natural food resource for deer.
“The chestnut tree is like a candy store for deer,” Layton said. “As soon as they develop a nut, it forms into a pod. That pod will fall and split open.
“The deer gets the nut inside of the pod, and to them, it’s like butterscotch candy,” he said. “They love it.”
Layton said chestnut trees were used throughout American history, mainly for furniture, trade and lumber during the early years.
Layton said the trees are located in the swamp below the board walk, and at present, he’s working on acquiring a grant with Alabama Power. He added that he thought they’d go ahead and get started because the trees were available.
Layton said a public works department employee found the trees in a nursery.
Layton said the city will also plant the trees at E.O. Wilson Nature Adventure Trail behind Arby’s, and at Jennings Park.
Layton said the process of planting the trees involves creating a 20-foot circle for the tree to grow under.
“Our public works department got out there with equipment, and cleared out land and stuck the trees in to give it a fighting chance,” he said.
He said because the department couldn’t plant the trees at the power line area because of the right away, they instead planting them at the edge of the forest under the boardwalk.
Layton said the trees should start producing the nuts pretty quickly.
He said the root system will spread out between 20-to-30 feet, adding that this is a good time to plant because of the recent wet weather.