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  1. #1

    Default American Chestnut

    Anyone involved with the effort to re-establish the American Chestnut? According to this site one was planted on the grounds of the white house in 2005 http://www.acf.org/pdfs/news/2005/co...rvation_do.pdf

    I would love to grow one in my yard, got room since chopping down a big pine, but this is not a good environment for them. Anyone plant one in their yard or elsewhere?

    I do remember meeting someone in Va, near SNP that was doing a census of sorts, he counted all chestnuts visible from the AT.

    For now I guess the only help I can give is in the form of money, but I wish I could have a more hands-on involvement, kind of hard from Florida.

  2. #2

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    Contact Dr. Hill Craddock from the University of TN in Chattanooga. I've met up with him several times in the Citico/Slickrock with his ladder and friends pulling research on a few of the mature chestnuts still living in this area. There are many more around than I thought. He runs a research center for bringing the American chestnut back.

  3. #3
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    Coastal Florida is not the usual growing area for Chestnut, but hey...I know how stubborn you are.
    Try this guy, created a hybrid at the University of Florida.
    http://www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/Homepage.html
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  4. #4

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    UMass is conducting a study of chestnut near Upper Goose Pond Cabin. We've found what appear to be several chestnut trees that are actually reproducing. UMass has developed a topical fungicide that appears to keep the tree alive.

    Probably not something to be used on a forest-wide basis (and I'm personally not too keen on the idea of adding more chemicals to the ecosystem), but it might prove useful for preserving resistant stock to assist in the cross breeding program to develop a viable variety (see this month's AT Journeys).

    Cosmo

    Cosmo

  5. #5
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    if you google 'american chestnut' and do a little research, you can also find a lot of information about area of the country where they are trying to bring them back and what you can do to help.
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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Yea the arboretum has a thirty here in PA but I don't have a contact yet - and they appear to be tree huggers!

    Tyler Arboretum

    http://www.tylerarboretum.org/about/contact-info.asp
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    Virginia's LeSesne State Forest is 422 acres in Nelson County dedicated to American Chestnut research and preservation. It"s located at the base of Three Ridges Mt. Open to the public with two chestnut tree orchards comprising thirty some acres of chestnut trees currently.

  8. #8
    Registered User Grits's Avatar
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    If you are at Trail Days go by the Meadowview Va. farm between Abdingdon and Damascus. http://www.acf.org/meadowview.php

  9. #9

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    Oh the glory. Pecan, Sourwood, chestnuts, sugar maples, pin and scarlet oaks, persimmons, sassafras, aspens, larches, in the fall.

    I believe the chestnuts being planted in Washington DC are mostly a hybrid of species and/or being back crossed John. They, along with American Elms, are sometimes being used as street tree plantings in DC. Glorious seeing those, and some other tree genus, cared for by knowledgeable professional arborists, horticulturalists, botanists, and landscape architects. Magnificent! DC has some OUTSTANDING mature tree specimens cared for to the fullest! As a tree hugger I love to wander around Washington examining the plantings.

  10. #10

    Default

    Trivia time: back in the day people made mattresses form its leave, chestnut flour was an ingredient in the original polenta, Spanish dancers tied a couple of dried chestnuts together to make castanets, and the trees were sustainable - they'd come around again from the stumps.

    If you're into trees in general (what's not to like), Lives of the Trees is a good selection to learn interesting stuff about our leafy friends.

  11. #11
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    Small grove of wild chestnuts at the base of Bear Rocks in Dolly Sods in W.V. Saw them while hanging out at the rocks last July.
    Schnikel

  12. #12
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    Default Chestnuts on Kittatinny Ridge

    There have always been native chestnuts here and they can be observed at many locations along the Appalachian Trail.

    I have seen them reach diameters in excess of 6 inches at breast height and produce nuts. I saw one that produced nuts last year only a week ago on SGL 110.

  13. #13

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    Now Europe is having difficulties with their Chestnuts http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=160587953


    The Great Chestnut Trees Of Europe Are Dying

    by The Associated Press


    GHENT, Belgium (AP) Visit the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris and chestnut trees greet you as you wander among graves of luminaries such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.

    When Anne Frank was in hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, the view of a monumental chestnut tree was one thing that cheered her up.

    In Cambridge, England, the two-century-old chestnut standing outside King's College chapel has become a beloved icon.

    In all those places and over much of Europe the horse chestnut tree is under threat.

    Sometimes they crash across boulevards and smash cars, unable to bear the weight of their own foliage. At other times, city officials move in and cut them down before they collapse.

    In high summer, their leaves can become so rusty it feels like October. As autumn approaches, many stand naked while other trees still wear their crowns of green.

    The culprits: a moth that produces leaf-eating larvae and a bacterium that makes trunks bleed and die.

    "In a sense it is almost like a lethal cocktail," said Dr. Darren Evans of the University of Hull. "If it is under attack by moths, it is probably going to be more susceptible to this bleeding canker which will kill it."

    A cure? Not immediately in sight.

    "It is spread throughout most of northern Europe," Evans said of the leaf miner moth in a telephone interview. "We still don't really know whether there is any effective way of controlling it." The same goes for the bacteria.

    Without any clear reason, the moth became rampant and spread through much of Europe about a decade ago. In Britain, it first surfaced in Wimbledon in 2002 and soon spread across England and Wales.

    It has flourished across the continent. The moth lays eggs in leaves and the larvae start devouring them, causing foliage to turn color as soon as July.

    The rusting robs the tree of vital sunlight for key months and, weakened, some fall prey to other diseases such as fungi.

    The moth was soon joined by a bacterium that came from the Himalayas and causes chestnut bark to bleed an oozing sticky liquid, sapping the tree and in many cases causing death.

    "The worst case scenario is that we lose most of our horse chestnut trees to this bleeding canker," Evans said.

    In Britain, which has up to 2 million chestnut trees, a 2007 survey showed that up to half could be infected with the disease. In countries like Belgium, France and the Netherlands, the alarm has also been raised.

    There is historical precedent for the fears: At the turn of the 20th century a fungus caused a mass extinction of the American chestnut tree in the eastern United States.

    Europe's chestnuts came first from the Balkans and were introduced in western Europe about 500 years ago. It is a hallmark of cities rather than forests and, especially during the Victorian era, became a favorite for stately lanes, parks and squares.

    In Ghent, Belgium, last month, a huge chestnut suddenly collapsed along the upper Scheldt river, smashing a car along a road usually busy with cycling students. As in many places, city councils have been increasingly checking the health of chestnuts and, if there's any doubt, cut them down as a safety precaution.

    The chestnuts are all gone this summer from the city's Groentenmarkt medieval center, depriving weary tourists of reprieve from the sun.

    The chestnuts, or marroniers, in Paris are also part of the attraction at Pere Lachaise. But last year, visitors could walk ankle deep through rusty leaves in the middle of July.

    "It's a problem all over Paris," said cemetery conservator Martine Lecuyer, although she said heavy rainfall made this year a little better.

    In Amsterdam, officials are scrambling to try to save chestnuts within the famed canal belt. For Anne Frank's tree, help came too late. The 150-year-old tree, affected by the moth and fungi, weakened progressively and crashed to the ground two years ago.

    If the darkest predictions prove true, many Britons will mourn chestnut trees as the passing of part of their youth: The game of "conkers," in which children take turns trying to smash chestnuts, was once a popular pastime on playgrounds across the country.

    Just as bad for chestnuts is the way people deal with the problem: On Ghent's Groentenmarkt, the new trees are now linden, and the example is followed in many parts of Europe.

    "Many local authorities are then no longer planting horse chestnut trees because they fear what is the point in planting something that is going to be susceptible to attack," Evans said.

    "Essentially, we could lose an entire new generation of horse chestnut trees."

  14. #14
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    FYI, the above article is talking about "horse chestnuts," which are actually a kind of buckeye. Our American chestnuts are a completely different type of tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by burger View Post
    FYI, the above article is talking about "horse chestnuts," which are actually a kind of buckeye. Our American chestnuts are a completely different type of tree.
    Is that the same "horse chestnut" we have here?
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  16. #16
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    Is that the same "horse chestnut" we have here?
    Yep. So, any horse chestnuts you see here are native to Europe.

  17. #17

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    Thanks, I did not know that; I'll look it up.

  18. #18
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    One more thing: there are several species of buckeyes that are native to the US. If you're not familiar with buckeyes, they look a lot like horse chestnut. A good tree book would clear things up.

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    Last year when visiting upper good pond cabin, I was thrilled to see several American Chestnut saplings planted near the building, several of them had signs identifying them. There were also pamphlets inside explaining the recent preservation/restoration efforts. Would be quite a feat of they managed to bring the population back to a healthy number.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  20. #20
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    There ia a small group in Northampton also.

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