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Title: Restoring the American chestnut tree

Author: Burhans, Bryan; Hebard, Fredrick V.;

Date: 2012

Source: In: Haase, D. L.; Pinto, J. R.; Riley, L. E., tech. coords. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations - 2011. Proc. RMRS-P-68. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 24-25.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was a dominate hardwood tree in the eastern United States. Its historic range extended from Maine south to the northern parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and west to the Ohio River Valley. In 1904, an exotic Asian fungus responsible for the death of American chestnut trees was first identified at the Bronx Zoo (New York City, NY). By 1950, the fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) had spread throughout the range of the chestnut and had functionally removed the chestnut as a canopy tree. The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) was established in 1983 with the mission of restoring the species to our eastern woodlands to benefit our environment, wildlife, and society. TACF currently operates over 300 breeding orchards representing over 120,000 chestnut trees throughout the range of the species. TACF has begun outplanting and testing their first line of potentially blight-resistant chestnuts. In addition, TACF is developing trees resistant to ink disease, and is using biotechnology to develop blight-resistant chestnut trees and to increase efficiency of its breeding program.

Keywords: American chestnut, Cryphonectiria parasitica, ink disease, backcross breeding, The American Chestnut Foundation, chestnut blight

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Burhans, Bryan; Hebard, Fredrick V. 2012. Restoring the American chestnut tree. In: Haase, D. L.; Pinto, J. R.; Riley, L. E., tech. coords. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations - 2011. Proc. RMRS-P-68. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 24-25.

 


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