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Old 01-28-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,474
I've seen a number of Chestnuts in the wild, but never very big. As others have stated, the blight doesn't kill the roots, and the roots will send up new shoots after the previous stem has died. Harvard Forest, in MA, is a great place to see (small) chestnut trees in the wild- the understory of the forest there is filled with thousands of them.

Because the blight cannot survive underground, there is a neat trick that can be used to keep the chestnut trees alive. One can fill a plastic bag with soil, and then duct tape it to the tree over any spots where the blight is present. This will kill the blight and keep the tree healthy. It is a very labor intensive process (and one that never ends), but it is also relatively cheap compared to treatments for other types of tree diseases.

I remember hearing a story about a large American chestnut that was found at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar several decades ago. After it was found, someone tried to pollinate it using flowers from another American chestnut. In doing so, they introduced blight to the tree, and it was dead within a matter of months.

For those hunting chestnuts, be aware that to the untrained eye, the leaves of chestnut oaks look very similar (and in fact, chestnuts are closely related to the oaks and beeches).

Last edited by DSettahr; 01-28-2016 at 03:32 PM..
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