||Paul Schaberg, Paula Murakami, Gary J. Hawley, Kendra Collins
||Northern Research Station
||New England Society of American Foresters News Quarterly. 78(3): 8-11.
The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once an ecological and economic keystone species in the eastern United States, and once comprised up to 50% of the basal area in portions of the Appalachian hardwood forest (Braun 1950). Its stature was impressive (some over 120 feet tall) and it grew remarkably fast (up to an inch in diameter per year) (Buttrick 1925, Kuhlman 1978). Its wood was straight grained and extremely rot resistant, which made it valuable for a wide-range of uses (e.g., construction, woodworking, furniture, railroad ties, telephone poles, musical instruments, and mine timbers) (Ronderos 2000). In addition, tannins from wood and bark were integral to a large leather tanning industry (Saucier 1973), and its large, sweet and nutritious nuts were an important source of food for wildlife, livestock and rural human communities (Rice et al. 1980).
Schaberg, Paul; Murakami, Paula; Hawley, Gary J.; Collins, Kendra. 2017. American chestnut restoration in New England - cold damage as an added challenge. New England Society of American Foresters News Quarterly. 78(3): 8-11.