The Restoration of the American Chestnut
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Oct 17, 2012 12:00 pm US/Eastern
Length: 01:00 (hh:mm)
- Stacy Clark, USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Knoxville, TN; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bryan Burhans, The American Chestnut Foundation, Asheville, NC; email@example.com
- International Society of Arboriculture - 1 hour Other Credit [credits applied for]
- Society of American Foresters - 1 hour Category 1 Credit
The American chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.] was one of the most abundant and important tree species of the eastern deciduous forest of North America for thousands of years, until decimated by chestnut blight, a disease caused by an exotic fungus [Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr]. Come learn about some of the recent progress made to restore the highly-prized American chestnut.
The disease spread rapidly, killing mature trees and reducing chestnut populations throughout the natural range to recurring sprouts in the forest understory by the middle 20th century. The chestnut was among the most versatile trees on the continent, historically used for rot-resistant lumber, in the charcoal iron furnace industry, and for extracted tannins for the leather tanning industry. The American chestnut was also highly prized for its edible nuts and wildlife value. The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, the American Chestnut Foundation, and the University of Tennessee are collaborating on chestnut restoration research on National Forest System lands. In autumn 2007 and 2008, the American Chestnut Foundation used a back-cross breeding technique to produce chestnuts, referred to as the BC3F3 generation, that are predicted to be American chestnut in character with blight resistance from Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Blume). Chestnut seedlings were out-planted into 11 research plantings on three national forests in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Chestnuts are surviving and growing well on most sites, and the BC3F3 generation seedlings are performing similarly to the American parent. Potential threats to chestnut restoration identified through these test plantings include root rot caused by the exotic fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi (Rands.), deer browsing, and poor seedling quality at planting. Future results from this and similar studies will be used to guide and maximize efficiency of reforestation efforts.
2012 American Chestnut Summit
The American Chestnut Foundation and the USDA Forest Service will present the 2012 American Chestnut Summit October 19-21 in Asheville, NC. The conference will include presentations, workshops, and a field tour of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Please visit www.acf.org/summit for details about the agenda, registration, lodging, and special activities for conferees and guests. The American Chestnut Foundation and the Forest Service are partnering with Georgia Pacific, the Southern Group of State Foresters, the North Carolina Forest Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the North Carolina Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, and the North East State Foresters Association to present the chestnut summit.
- presentation.pdf (1217Kb)
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