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C. sativa attains a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft) with a trunk often 2 m (7 ft) in diameter. The bark often has a net-shaped (retiform) pattern with deep furrows or fissures running spirally in both directions up the trunk. The trunk is mostly straight with branching starting at low heights. Sweet chestnut trees live to an age of 500 to 600 years. If cultivated, sweet chestnut trees might even grow as old as 1000 years or more. Their large genetic diversity and different cultivars are being nursed for uses like flour, boiling, roasting, drying, candying or wood. The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16–28 cm (6–11 in) long and 5–9 cm (2–4 in) broad. The tree requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a good nut harvest. Its year-growth (but not the rest of the tree) is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts, and is intolerant of lime. Under forest conditions, it will tolerate moderate shade well. It can live to more than 2,000 years of age in natural conditions, see the poetically-named "hundred-horse chestnut" in eastern Sicily for example.
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