Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chestnut Trees

Professor Craig H., center, leads a tour of forestry professionals to
the front of Penn State Mont Alto’s chestnut grove.

The local Waynesboro paper highlights efforts by faculty and students in the forestry program of Penn State Mont Alto to aid in the research to breed blight resistant Chestnut trees. An orchard at the University that was planted in 2000, includes American chestnut trees, Chinese chestnut trees and trees that are a hybrid of the two. Way cool side note: Both Beth B. and her husband Craig H. have signed up to become Franklin County Master Gardeners. Woo Hoo!

Adding the efforts of our own retired forester Lionel L. at the Miller’s farm, and genetic seed stock collected annually from trees in Michaux and Caledonia, to the Mont Alto efforts and it’s clear that Franklin County will be well represented when chestnut trees become available for reforesting.

Here’s an archived article from 2005 from main campus at Penn State describing their research and breeding efforts.

Purdue University has been conducting research, as well, and recently published this press release about the potential for chestnut trees to provide a major source of carbon sequestering.

I’ve added links to the American Chestnut Foundation and the Pennsylvania state chapter in the sidebar.

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