Below is an article I ran across about a forester finding a rare 70 ft+ American Chestnut in the Talladega National Forest. This could be a wonderful find if they figure out why this particular tree is resistant to the fungus that all but eliminated the species 100 years ago. American Chestnuts could be an important cash crop for the Eastern Forests.
By (AP) TALLADEGA, Ala.
Published: Mon, August 03, 2009
Talladega, Ala. An American chestnut tree seven basketball goals high has quietly spent decades bucking long odds in the Talladega National Forest.
The tree, found by a U.S. Forest Service worker two years ago, was recognized last week as the largest of its kind in the state and an example that has become rare in America since a disease nearly wiped out the species beginning in 1900.
The American chestnut tree, known for being strong, light and straight-grained, was once ubiquitous in the eastern United States and was used to build everything from musical instruments to railroad ties, but the past 100 years have not been kind to the tree. The species that once routinely reached 100 feet in height now grows to little more than a 5-foot shrub before dying because of an Asian fungus against which the American tree has no natural defense.
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