This research has been conducted with the aim to select chestnut genotypes which have superior quality with respect to emergence rate, growth and drought tolerance of seedlings. A total of 23 genotypes were studied in 1997 and 1998. Chestnut seeds were stratified 2, 2.5 and 3 months in perlite at 4 +/- 0.5 degreesC. Most of the genotypes broke their seed dormancy after 3 Or 2.5 months. Chestnut seeds were sown in 20 x 40 cm tubes. Average emergence ratio varied among the genotypes from 51.6 lo to 97.3 %. Maximum seedling diameter was 7.83 mm and seedling height was 70.7 cm after one season of growth. The coefficient of variance (CV) for height and diameter, and ratio of seedling showing a straight growth habit also differed among genotypes. The data were evaluated by the weighted-rankit method. Five genotypes (554-1, SE 18-2, SE 21-9, SE 23-9 and SA 5-1) which have the heighest scores were investigated for drought tolerance. The first sign of damage from water loss commenced at the level of 7.2-12.6 % soil water content, and plant death occurred at 6.9-12.2 % soil water level depending on the genotype.