The Big Think

May 25, 2005

… and all of his friends may come back.

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 11:14 am

The American chestnut, prized for its timber and its crop of glossy dark nuts, once dominated Eastern forests from Maine to Georgia. The graceful trees were virtually wiped out by blight starting at the turn of the 20th century.

That loss, Case said, “was the greatest environmental disaster in the Western Hemisphere since the Ice Age.”

Now, after years of breeding, cloning and crossbreeding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is ready to reintroduce disease-resistant chestnuts to Eastern forests next year.

I’ve seen pictures from the era of the giant chestnut trees. Truly amazing, gigantic towers. It was a real loss to the country when they were destroyed. Imagine if the eagle, or better yet, the commonly seen hawk, suddenly vanished. I’m glad they’re reintroducing these arboreal monoliths. At least some generation 200 years from now will be able to enjoy them again.

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