Despite adapting well to Irish site and climatic requirements, sweet or Spanish chestnut is rarely planted in Ireland. It forms less than 0.1% of Irish forests, or an area of 460ha.
It is not native to Ireland or Britain but is now regarded as a naturalised species. It was introduced to Britain by the Romans 2,000 years ago. Nobody knows for sure when it was introduced to Ireland, but it was probably well established by the 17th century as it features in Zoilomastix by Don Philip O’Sullivan Beare, which he completed in 1625.