"Coaxing American Chestnuts Back to Appalachia"

"Old swaths of Appalachian forest land left barren by decades of coal mining may find their past is their future, if efforts to restore the American chestnut tree in reclaimed coal fields are successful."

"Over the next three years, more than 360 acres in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee will be planted with a variety of American chestnut trees bred to resist chestnut blight. The blight is a fungus that entered the United States around the year 1900 on imported Asian chestnut trees and destroyed about 4 billion native hosts by 1955.

The $1.1 million project — still largely an experiment — represents three decades of innovative breeding by the American Chestnut Foundation and its partners, which also have been planting restoration trees in national forests and on other public lands."

Deborah Weisberg reports for the New York Times' Green blog April 10, 2012.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012