Our History

From Chestnut Hill Tree Farm to CHT Medical

Plant Breeders, Chestnut Trees and Cannabis Plants

Chestnut Hill Tree Farm has a unique history and a distinguished track record of success in the nursery business which set the foundation for a successful medical cannabis business. Founded in 1981, Chestnut Hill Tree Farm in Alachua is a qualified nursery with over 35 years of experience, growing more than 400,000 plants annually in the Northeast Region of Florida and introducing new plant varieties to American horticulture, orchards, and forests. The farm has extensive propagation and cultivation experience across a wide diversity of plant species and grows over 100 varieties of trees, fruit, berries, herbaceous plants, and shrubs, many of which are not native to Florida.  They also have diverse experience with edible plants, including chestnuts, persimmons and low chill fruit and bring a history of innovation as a breeder, developer, and marketer of new edible nut and fruit varieties. 

Chestnut Hill Tree Farm has led the development of the chestnut industry in the United States with patents and innovative products, including the introduction of the Dunstan Chestnut™, Chestnut Magic™, and new chestnut food products sold to Whole Foods Market and other grocery retailers. Robert D. Wallace, CEO of Chestnut Hill Tree Farm, has been a pioneer in the establishment of chestnuts as a new commercial orchard crop and as a wildlife food plot tree in America.  He founded the Chestnut Growers of America, the industry association.  Wallace’s grandfather, noted plant breeder Dr. Robert T. Dunstan, bred the Dunstan Chestnut™, a hybrid of American and Chinese chestnuts that is blight resistant and the most widely planted chestnut tree in America. He was the first person to hybridize French wine grapes with the American Muscadine, a feat that eluded breeders for over 100 years.  Wallace’s father, Dr. A.T. Wallace, served as Dean for Research at the University of Florida College of Agriculture.  Chestnut Hill has built a deep relationship with the University of Florida over the past three decades. Wallace holds a Bachelors of Science in Biology from UF, and Chestnut Hill owner Deborah A. Gaw is a graduate of the Environmental Horticulture Department at UF.  Chestnut Hill Tree Farm grows and markets a number of fruit varieties patented by University of Florida breeders and pays sales royalties to the University of Florida Research Foundation. 

A Focus on the Future

CHT Medical team will utilize their experience, relationships, and expertise to successfully cultivate medical cannabis and establish the company as a leader in the medical cannabis industry as it has done in the chestnut industry in the United States. CHT Medical builds on the foundation of success established by Chestnut Hill Tree Farm to reliably deliver high-quality and innovative medical cannabis products to patients in need.