10 Apr '12, 2pm

Coaxing American Chestnuts Back to Appalachia

Coaxing American Chestnuts Back to Appalachia

Christopher Gardner for The New York Times Sara Fitzsimmons, the regional science coordinator for the American Chestnut Foundation, studies a canker — a symptom of the chestnut blight that killed billions of American trees in the 20th century — on a seven-year-old American chestnut at the arboretum at Penn State. Old swaths of Appalachian forest land left barren by decades of coal mining may find their past is their future, if efforts to restore the American chestnut tree in reclaimed coal fields are successful. Over the next three years, more than 360 acres in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee will be planted with a variety of American chestnut trees bred to resist chestnut blight. The blight is a fungus that entered the United States around the year 1900 on imported Asian chestnut trees and destroyed about 4 billion native hosts by 1955. The $...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/coaxing-america...

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