Around 1906, the chestnut blight, Endothia parasitica, was introduced along the east coast of the United States and spread like wildfire through the forests. Devastating the once dominant American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, the blight had little to no effect on the Chinese Chestnut, Castanea mollissima, that were prominent throughout Asia. (Learn more from The American Chestnut Foundation ®)
In 1944, Mr. & Mrs. Bert Harter of Doylestown, Ohio were given three West Virginia Sweet Chestnut trees by Dr. Cather in order to help build their family orchard. The Harter's purchased subsequent Chinese Chestnuts of the "Hawk Variety" in 1946 from Mrs. Estella Hawk. After some years a hybrid was found growing among the orchard trees. Aborist, Dr. Oliver Diller, was in charge of finding a substitute for the American Sweet Chestnut at the time and was working at the Ohio Experiment Station in Wooster, Ohio. In 1961 he declared the Harter Chestnut the best sweet flavored chestnut found by his department and the USDA in Ohio. Practically a perfect cross between the two chestnuts, the Sweet-Hart was not only blight resistant but also a wonderful producer of sweet chestnuts. Boyd Nursery Company named the new chestnut the Hart Chestnut in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Harter after Mrs. Mary Harter agreed to the new name. Producing pale yellow flowers throughout June and chestnuts throughout the summer, animals absolutely love the chestnuts and the tree makes an excellent addition for deer, turkey, and other wildlife plots, as it is a more consistent producer of food than oak trees.
Drake, Robert J. "Chestnut Crop Yields Profit, Finances Hobby." The Plain Dealer [Cleveland, OH] 30 Oct. 1961: 51. Print.
According to Michael A. Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants ...