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Marylanders Are Working To Save The American Chestnut Tree

Maryland Is Working To Restore The American Chestnut Tree

According to a story today from WJZ -13 news, The State Highway Administration and the Maryland chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation are working to restore the American Chestnut Tree through plantings in open areas along MD highways.  The tree is a native of American forests that can grow to be to 100 feet tall and 600 years old.

The Maryland chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation explains that the American Chestnut once made up 25% of our hardwood forest and its nuts were an important source of food for deer, bears, turkeys, squirrels and other animals.  In the early 1900’s a fungus somehow traveled from Asia to the U.S. and by 1950 the American Chestnut had all but disappeared from our forests.  Recent advances in genetics and plant pathology have allowed scientists to create a blight-resistant seed which many hope will restore the American Chestnut tree.

The blight resistant seeds and seedlings are not yet available to the public, but you can still help.  The American Chestnut Foundation is offering educational holiday greeting cards whose proceeds help benefit the foundation and restoration efforts for the trees.  The card, at right, has an illustrated front, the inside is blank and there is the story of the American Chestnut of the back.  For more information about this and other cards from the American Chestnut Foundation, CLICK HERE.

The American Chestnut Foundation was founded in 1983 by a group of prominent plant scientists who recognized the severe impact the demise of the American chestnut tree imposed upon the local economy of rural communities, and upon the ecology of forests within the tree’s native range.