The American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once "queen of
    the forest". The dominant tree of Eastern woodlands, it often reached
    heights of 100 feet with a girth of 20 feet.  These trees grew along
    mountain hillsides and provided soft, light-weight wood for building
    everything from split rail fences to caskets.  The tannin from the bark
    was used in the production of leather, and the fruit of the tree was an
    important cash crop for local people. It was devastating when in 1904
    the Chestnut blight came to the U.S.from the orient. Once a tree was
    infected, fungus grew on the limbs and trunk, killing the tree above
    the infected area. Within 40 years most American Chestnut trees were
    destroyed. Because the roots remained unaffected, saplings sprouted
    but were attacked by the fungus before they matured. Using  healthy
    saplings, efforts have been made to restore this magnificent tree to
    its former glory.                
              Recently a nursery in Ohio produced hybrid saplings that are
    resistant to the blight and have an 80% survival rate. In December
    of 2012, we obtained six of these hybrid trees and planted them
    on the hill behind Chestnut Cottage. We placed them inside sleeves to
    protect the roots from mice and moles. When they outgrow their sleeves,
    we'll cage them so the deer don't eat them.
             Nelson Henderson said it best, "The true meaning of life is to plant
    a tree under whose shade you do not expect to sit."  Our hope
         is,  that with care and blessings from Mother Nature, our little trees
    will one day reach maturity and be a source of pleasure to those
    who come after us.


               Check out the article in the Nov. 11, 2014 issue of the Washington Post :
    
 " Unearthed: Thanks to science, we may see the rebirth of the American Chestnut"

                      
The American Chestnut Tree
                     May, 2014
December, 2012
July, 2014