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  1. #21

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    Unfortunately these press releases have been going out for 20 years that the researchers are "this close" to coming up with a blight resistant chestnut. I hope they pull it off but I wonder how much closer they have to get.

  2. #22
    GSMNP 900 Miler rmitchell's Avatar
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    Several years ago someone gave my father an American Chestnut that came from a tree in the Sharps Chapel area of Tennessee. He said that tree is very old. His tree now is probably now eight inches in diameter and bears most years. I now have a seedling from it and am trying to decide where to plant it.

  3. #23
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Zombie thread bump.

    It turns out that a maintainer on our local trail system is active with the American chestnut society. He mentioned to me where these living chestnut trees were located, but it took me until today to get up there and find them. 4D8167B5-9E59-4352-B710-E2846DC342DB.jpg27550859-78A4-4C7D-8D2A-54084B78220E.jpeg
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  4. #24

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    Some people are working on gene splicing to fight chestnut blight.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/clima...-gene-editing/

  5. #25

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    Thanks for the photos, there are still remnant populations of wild trees that do not have the blight some may have resistance and others are isolated from other trees enough that the blight does not get to them. The problem with the current crossbreeding program is that they think they have blight resistant strain that has the correct characteristics and do a test planting where they intentionally introduce blight into the trees and usually the trees get blight. Its not just one gene they have to get its multiple ones. The alternative approach that seems to work and has been lab tested is highly controversial where gene splicing is done to introduce blight resistance directly to remnant pure American Chestnut stock. It has split the chestnut restoration groups in half, the gene splice will bring them back quicker but the gene splicing is violently opposed by the folks who have been doing conventional selective crossing for decades.

  6. #26
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    In 1999 a researcher in SNP was mapping remnant chestnut trees. "Dead" trees would put out new saplings from their roots. According to him, these saplings were in great abundance but eventually would succumb to the blight as they got older. The question was how long these saplings would continue to be produced.
    I remember the forests of huge dead trees in SNP that had been dead for decades I suspect most are still there although hidden now by other species. Does anybody know of threaten species that were impacted either negatively or positively by their loss?

  7. #27
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    Chestnut blight affecting a young American chestnut
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  8. #28
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    Conservation efforts in North America[edit]



    American chestnut field trial sapling from the American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation

    There are approximately 2,500 chestnut trees growing on 60 acres (24 ha) near West Salem, Wisconsin, which is the world's largest remaining stand of American chestnut. These trees are the descendants of those planted by Martin Hicks, an early settler in the area. In the late 1800s, Hicks planted fewer than a dozen chestnuts. Planted outside the natural range of American chestnut, these trees escaped the initial wave of infection by chestnut blight, but in 1987 scientists found blight also in this stand. There is a program to bring American chestnut back to the Eastern forest funded by the American Chestnut Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, West Virginia University, Michigan State University, and Cornell University.[39]
    Removing blighted trees to control the disease was first attempted when the blight was discovered, but this proved to be an ineffective solution. Scientists then set out to introduce a hyperparasitic hypovirus into the chestnut blight fungus. The trees infected with virus-treated fungus responded immediately and began to heal over their cankers. However, the virus was so efficient at attenuating fungal growth that it prevented the spreading of the virus from an infected fungus growing on one tree to that growing on another tree. Only the virus-treated trees recovered. Scientific opinion regarding the future of the stand varies.[39]

  9. #29
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    Big South Fork in Tennessee has a field lab also. I always give it a visit when hiking nearby.

    https://activerain.com/blogsview/168...erican-tragedy

  10. #30

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    And some fairly sizable ones around the Roaring Fork shelter just north of Max Patch.

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