Friday, May 19, 2006

Rare American Chestnut trees discovered

This is spectacular news. Chestnut trees were probably the most widespread type of tree east of the Mississippi for thousands of years until blight nearly caused their extinction.

"American chestnuts once made up about 25 percent of the forests in the eastern United States, with an estimated 4 billion trees from Maine to Mississippi and Florida.
The trees helped satisfy demand for roasted chestnuts, and their rot-resistant wood was used to make fence posts, utility poles, barns, homes, furniture and musical instruments.
Then these magnificent hardwoods, which could grow to a height of 100 feet and a diameter of 8 feet or more, were almost entirely wiped out by a fast-spreading fungus discovered in 1904."

If these trees can resist the blight, then the re-introduction of the chestnut could take place. Arbor Day could have a new meaning for me if this proves to be the case. I would certainly love to plant one.

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