American Chestnut (castanea dentata)

American Elm (ulmus americana)
January 13, 2016
American Beech (fagus grandifolia)
January 13, 2016

American Chestnut (castanea dentata)

American Chestnut 1
This deciduous tree, because of the chestnut blight cryphonectria parasitica, is but rarely found along the Appalachian range and in northeastern America, where it used to be the dominant tree in the forest. Sprouting clumps, leftovers from dying chestnuts are what is found mostly in the woods. The cross-breeding of the American chestnut with the Chinese chestnut has proven successful and since around 2010 these chestnut trees are planted in woodland areas.The chestnut is monoecious (produces male and female flowers on the same tree) The small, pale green male flowers are in the catkins. The female parts can be found at the base of the catkins near the twig. The American chestnut requires two trees for pollination. The nuts on the tree are enclosed in spiny green burrs in a tan velvet lining. They are a nutrient rich food source for many animals. For people the American chestnut produces edible nuts that can be eaten raw or roasted. In the past the wood was used for furniture, fences, shingles, home construction, flooring, plywood, paper pulp, and telephone poles. Because of tannins found in the wood, it is highly resistant to decay. Most commercial chestnuts come from European chestnut trees while the very resistant to blight Chinese Chestnuts are lately the most commonly planted of the chestnut family in the United States, since the blight killed practically all American chestnuts.