Optimism is sprouting from blight-resistant chestnut seedlings in the Cherokee National Forest and other remote outdoor labs.
The seedlings are hybrids of American chestnuts and Chinese chestnuts.
The U.S. Forest Service, the University of Tennessee and the American Chestnut Foundation are working with the seedlings. They are also being tested in North Carolina, Virginia and other remote forest settings. ...
Click link to read the article, which also references an article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel headlined Chestnut research effort showing promise. Excerpts follow below:
[quote]For more than 30 years the American Chestnut Foundation has been back crossing American chestnuts with blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts to produce a strain that's resistant to the blight, but retains the lumber and mast characteristics that made the American chestnut one of the most valuable trees in the forest.
The most blight-resistant chestnuts bred by the American Chestnut Foundation are 15/16 American trees. ...
Stacy Clark, researcher with the U.S. Forest Service, said recent monitoring indicates the hybrid seedlings are growing rapidly much like their American chestnut ancestors. ...
Clark said that while it's too soon to draw conclusions regarding long-term blight resistance, the hybrid chestnuts at the plots so far appear to be more blight-resistant than their pure American counterparts are.[/quote]Read the full article
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