Early results of a chestnut planting in eastern Kentucky illustrate reintroduction challengesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
This paper examines the first year results from a silvicultural study of American, hybrid (BC2F3) and Chinese chestnut seedlings (Castanea spp. Mill.) on the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky. After one year, no significant differences in growth were found among the silvicultural treatments. Hybrids and Chinese seedlings added significantly more height growth than the American seedlings. American chestnut suffered nearly 40 percent mortality, hybrids 34 percent, while only 5 percent of Chinese seedlings died during the first growing season. High mortality among American and hybrid seedlings is thought to have been caused by the native chestnut sawfly, Craesus castaneae (Rowher) and the non-native Phytophthora cinnamomi (Rands.), both of which were present at the site. These results illustrate potential challenges facing the reintroduction of American chestnut.