Thursday, 11 October 2012

The American Chestnut Tree

I've found a new hobby/love of mine. I've been talking about it with my family for quite a while and I seem to be pretty passionate about it so I'm surprised I haven't written anything about it on my blog yet.
Part of my Horticulture Therapy course for this saturday is to bring a project. Since the chestnut is what I'm excited about I wrote up a blurb about it. Since most of it isn't really important for this post I just copy and pasted the part that might seem interested. If you click on the link and follow it to other links, you might get excited about it too. check it out.

History of the American Chestnut
Seventy years ago the American Chestnut made up 25% of our trees in our woods and forests from south Georgia up to southern Ontario. The wood was used for furniture and the nuts were used as food. The American Chestnut has a sweeter taste than the chestnuts we know today and the nut harvest could be depended on since the tree was quite drought resistant.
A blight believed to be introduced by the Chinese chestnut tree was introduced in the 1940's and rapidly ran through our forests destroying almost all of the trees. VERY few trees are left standing and because of the nature of cross pollination, these trees are left standing alone with little capability of producing further nuts for more trees. Some tree roots are left from fallen chestnut trees and these send up shoots once in a while but the shoots generally are killed off by the blight. In 1986 the World Wildlife Fund declared the tree a threatened species.
There is research and teams of people interested in ensuring the trees survival. The research involves attempts at cross pollinating with the Chinese Chestnut to produce a version of the American Chestnut that is blight resistance. Other research includes using a virus to kill the bacteria that causes the chestnut blight.
Most people of my generation do not even know what an American Chestnut looks like. People are needed to go out in their own neighborhoods, back yards and woods to find chestnut trees, help the pollination so that we can collect the precious few nuts, plant them, and then, if they die keep planting more.
More information on the American Chestnut can be found at:

No comments:

Post a Comment