Thursday, February 23, 2017
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Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom
In a July 2011 photo, Kurt Laffin of Hudson pollinates a chestnut tree in Merrimack. The flowers were manually pollinated with pollen from a chestnut hybrid, then covered with bags to keep out other pollen. At the end of summer, the chestnuts are harvested and then planted to created the next generation of hybrids, whose pollen will be used in subsequent years.
Thursday, October 4, 2012

The return of the American chestnut tree (we hope)

The journal Nature has a long piece about attempts to develop a fungus-resistant American chestnut tree, to restore a species that once made up a quarter of the Eastern forests. You can read it here. It's got a great line, that the massive chestnut was "known as the sequoia of the east."

I've written about this effort many times, since New Hampshire has a pretty active group that gather seeds from the occasional remaining American chestnut and contributes them to cross-breeding efforts, which are trying to combine the American chestnut's looiks and size with the Chinese chestnut's natural resistance.

To find out more, check the New Hampshire/Vermont chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation.