When I bought my house, I discovered I had a small stand of Chestnut
trees in the back yard. I dont think they're American C'nuts, but
they're not Asian either. As close as I can tell they're a hybrid, but
they produce the most delicious nuts.....
Until this past year: The year of the 17 year Cicada.
I tell ya, all the new reports said, "ignore the Cicadas, they dont do
any lasting damage"... Yeah right! It was like every single Cicada in
a 1 mile radius made a beeline for those trees. There wasnt a green
leaf left standing after the onslaught was over. The trees made a
half hearted attempt at rebudding, but there were only a few leaves
all summer long. Not to mention, no nuts in the fall. :-( I truly
suspect these trees are history. Will know for sure next spring...
I hope that your trees will survive, Dick.
As an aside, about an hour north of here in NY is a place called Mohonk
Mountain house, a very nice hotel and surroundings
<http://www.mohonk.com/ . There are American chestnut trees u[ there,
but they don't last. They are making seed and it makes new trees, but
the trees succumb to the fungus before they are more than 3-4 inches in
trunk diameter. I think they are hoping that natural mutations will
generate resistant trees, and who knows ...
That, unfortunately, is the general tendency. There are a few places
where there are some which have regenerated and survived so far. I know
of a couple specimens in VA which are kept almost a state secret in
order to protect them that have reached about 40 years' age by
now...they're the basis for quite a lot of research at VPI and elsewhere...
Chestnut trees are some of the most beautiful of all trees. As a small boy
I remember them on the streets of Eastern Europe.
At my old age I finally planted 5 trees 3 years ago. Unfortunately all that
was available were the Chinese variety. Got 4 Colossal and 1 Nevada
pollinator. Trees are starting to be about 6-7 feet high and about 3 inches
in diameter. I hope I live long enough to see them mature.
I'm in northern Oregon, and, there are several orchards starting to grow
them around here and southern Washington state.
The neat thing about them (if you've never seen one outside of a
supermarket) is that they come in a 'burr' slightly smaller than a tennis
ball. You just about need welding gloves to pick them up due to the
sharpness and solidity of the prickles. There is no way that a squirrel or
any other critter would fool with theses things. Yes, after they drop they
will open up in about 2 weeks. By that time I'm already on them. Unlike
the walnut tree I had where the squirrels would strip the tree about 4 weeks
before they are either ready to eat or ready to drop.
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