The thing is, eventually, the invasive chestnut blight finds them and kills them back. Often before they can reach a large enough size to start bearing nuts. There are, of course, exceptions. To date, there have been no blight-resistant native chestnut trees found. They always get the blight, and they always die.
A few years ago I did stumble upon one that had gotten fairly large (by modern standards) and was producing nuts. (I looked, but all of the nuts were gone--just burrs were left). I need to go back to this one to see if it's still there.
|American chestnut tree leaves.|
|Burr of American chestnut.|
|This tree was part of a really huge grove of little American chestnut trees that I hiked through at the Sherando Lake Recreation Area in Virginia. None of them were very big though--nothing over a few feet tall.|