August 26, 2007

American Chestnut

Reintroducing the American Chestnut. Except for natural history buffs, few people remember what American chestnuts even look like. It took me months to realize I had three Chinese Chestnuts on my property -- I had never seen a chestnut before. So complete was the blight that wiped them out in the early 1900's, even my excellent, tree-identifying aunts and uncles didn't recognize the trees. What used to be a staple food, stored in attics and eaten all winter long, disappeared from America. I sent pictures and sample leaves to the American Chestnut Foundation, who verified mine were Chinese, and not blight-resistant American Chestnuts. Click on the picture above to get a close-up view.

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