American Chestnuts in the Field

By the 1950s, two non-native pathogens had killed almost all American chestnut trees. “There’s a lot of interest in breeding a chestnut that looks like American chestnut with the disease resistance of Chinese chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Stacy Clark. “However, there hasn’t been much research on reintroducing disease-resistant trees to the forest.”…  More 

Chestnut Blight

Chestnut blight, the disease that decimated the American chestnut trees of the eastern U.S. in the early 1900s, is mainly caused by Cryphonectria parasitica, a member of the largest group of fungi, the ascomycetes (sac fungi). C. parasitica enters through wounds and cracks in chestnut bark, causing dead areas on bark called cankers. Once introduced, the…  More