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American Chestnut (infected) finally gave fruit Zn 5a New England

6 years ago

On this gorgeous Saturday I am a bit excited. I've lived on our rural road for over 25 years and have noted an American Chestnut tree on the other side of our rough road. Like so many others, it is infected and only grows to about 10 to 15 ft before re-sucombing to blight and dying back. Sometimes an enthusiastic road crew gives it another chop. It has lots of suckering shoots.

Well, today, while doing yard work, I went across the little road for something and spotted a hedge hog impersonator. Darn it that American Chestnut didn't produce plaster bucket of fruit. Most have been aged open and are empty. But a few have seeds/nuts in them. I am a sucker for time eating useless projects based on more hope than logic (although I am mostly rational, practical and evidence driven,,, yet ---). I last read about Amer Chestnuts some 20 years ago. Perhaps by now, some genius has developed an affordable inoculation or gene therapy. Of course, I am no youngster, so a bit of growth hormone or chestnut crack would be nice.

Our restive road crew had gotten "incentivized" and will soon be lopping and chopping any vegetation within 30 ft of the overhead wires or roadway. They will lop the American Chestnut sucker-tree from its 20 - 25 ft., back to soil level, unless I stage a "tree in" or convince them that the infected tree will never grow beyond 20 to 25 ft.. Before the blight takes it down to 2 ft above stump.

(There are a few other diseased-stumped Amer Chestnuts on our hillside but this is the only only one adjacent to us. There was a time when this lovely tree stood majestic.

My questions:

1. Is there a way for me to grow, plant nurture the chestnut seeds from these? I have about 5.

2. Will any seedling from these seeds be infected? Will it become infected?

3. Is there a way to inoculate seedlings? Once? Yearly?

4. Can I grow the chestnut from a cutting an inoculate that?

Of course, I won't be around for any chestnut tree from any attempts, but our surrounding acreage is all (for now) conservation and water resource protected -- not that it's enforced in cow city, but).


Opened American Chestnut from blighted stump. Boy, are the spines sharp!

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