Just a comment. A beautiful place about 1 1/2 hour North of NYC still has
chestnuts growing and proliferating. Unfortunately, they are susceptible
to the fungus and die before getting more than about 3 inches in diameter.
One hopes that somehow nature and Darwin will yield a truly resistant
variant of the species.
As a promising note, there is at least one in VA that VPI (Va Tech,
Blacksburg) researchers have been following for over 30 years now. The
precise location is a well-guarded secret in order to protect it (how
sad a commentary, unfortunately) but it has (at least last I knew which
is getting to be a fair number of years now) so far withstood the ravages.
There is a small grove of American Chestnut trees still growing out by Jim
Thorpe, PA. Location is too hard to get to as it is up a small rocky area
to where they are located. My great aunt's property borders the area.
There are several areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can
find American chestnut whips and slender trees, coming up from old
root bases. They seldom get more than 2" in diameter, never more than
3". Chestnut rails still dominate the rail fencing along the Parkway;
I understand, but don't know, that they have enough stored to make
replacements for another 50 or 75 years. Might be true. Might be non-
Seventy years ago my home was in the South Western part of Virginia. The
were plenty of dead chesnut trees standing. Most of the trees were tall and
slender without any bark. We cut them for firewood. Most were 40 to 50 feet
tall. Once we started them sliding down the mountain they would go like a
rocket all the way to the bottom of the mountain. You could split them with
an ax from end to end.
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