Tree JAC-85 has a history and background very similiar to the tree JAC-74. It was developed by the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station (CAES) in 1950 and was placed in the same experimental planting as JAC-74. JAC-85 is 50% Chinese, 25% American, 12.5% Japanese and 12.5% European.
The female parent of JAC-85 is a hybrid known as 'Hammond - 86'. A tree managed by P. Hammond, Syosset, Long Island, NY (estate of Bronson Winthrop) is the 'Japanese' grandparent. However, a peroxidase test done on this tree in 1994 showed that it was not pure Japanese as originally thought. It is believed that it is actually a Japanese x European hybrid. It was pollinated in 1931 with pollen from a surviving American tree near Washington, DC. The American, FP551, was known as Beall's dentata and was used for many years by Dr. Arthur Graves to develop hybrid chestnut trees. The hybrid Hammond-86 was reported to have good blight resistance and is formally a (Japanese x European) x American hybrid.
In 1950 the hybrid Hammond-86 was pollinated by the Chinese chestnut, PI #78744, known as Tiger Paw. The Tiger Paw chestnut was imported into the United States in 1931 by plant explorer Peter Liu. He found the trees growing near the Fa Hua Ssu Temple near Beijing. He said they were the finest nuts and trees he had seen in all of China. The nuts are reported to be the finest tasting among Chinese trees.
The hybrid chestnut JAC-85 has been growing in it's present location since 1953. It still exhibits high levels of blight resistance. It is a vigorous, large tree measuring over 70 feet in height and 17.19 inches in diameter when measured in 2012. The nuts are of hight quality and flavor and ripen by the second week of September, about 1 week later than the tree JAC-74.
Tree JAC-85 exhibiting good timber form 2012.
Graft of JAC-85 showing very large, glossy, green leaves.
Young graft of JAC-85 shedding pollen.