Thursday, February 23, 2012

American Chestnut ( Castanea dentata )

Fruit Warehouse | American Chestnut ( Castanea dentata ) | There are Several related species of chestnut, Such as the European Sweet Chestnut, Chinese Chestnut, Chestnut and Japanese, the which are distinguishable only with difficulty from the American species. The American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) is a large, deciduous tree of the beech family native to eastern North America.

The blight-resistant Chinese Chestnut is now the most commonly Planted chestnut species in the U.S. It can be distinguished from the American Chestnut by its hairy Twig tips the which are in contrast to the hairless Twigs of the American Chestnut.  Once an Important hardwood timber tree, the American Chestnut is highly susceptible to chestnut blight, Caused by an Asian bark fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica, formerly Endothia parasitica) accidentally introduced into North America on imported Asiatic chestnut trees.

It is estimated That the total number of chestnut trees in eastern North America was over three billion, and that '25 percent of the trees in the Appalachian Mountains were American Chestnut. The number of large surviving American Chestnut trees over 60 centimeters (24 in) in diameter within the tree's former range is probably fewer than 100. American Chestnut thrives as far north as Revelstoke, British Columbia. Several Organizations are Attempting to breed blight-resistant chestnut trees. One of these is the American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation, the which breeds surviving all-American chestnuts, the which have shown some native resistance to blight.

A breakthrough in cross-breeding of the American chestnut and Chinese chestnut DNA DNA has allowed to begin restoration of the American chestnut tree. A Tree Planted in 2005 in the tree outside of the USDA library building is still very healthy 7 years later containing 98% American chestnut DNA and 2% Chinese chestnut DNA. This Chinese chestnut tree contains enough DNA to resist the blight the which is essential for restoring the American chestnut trees into the Northeast.

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