The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

March 7, 2013

The comeback of the American chestnut tree

The Daily Star

---- — Al Nichols will present a program on the American chestnut tree at 6:45 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the meeting room at Huntington Memorial Library. 

Chestnut trees once heavily populated the American landscape. Around 1900, some imported Asian stock contained a fungus which spread rapidly and killed the trees. This fungus is spread by wind, rain, birds, and other animals. Efforts to restore the tree have been slow. Researchers are trying to produce a blight resistant tree using genetic engineering. Al will discuss the current blight resistant trees and what everyone can to do help reestablish the American Chestnut back into the forest.

Nichols became interested in chestnut trees when he was shown dead trees by his father in the 1950s. He became active with the American Chestnut Foundation when he found several live trees in the 1990s. He covers this area of the state for the New York Chapter and is also the assistant vice president.

This program is offered by the Friends of Huntington Memorial Library and is free and open to the public.


We’re all eager for spring to arrive, and what better way to wait than planning your garden. Newly arrived is “Grow Vegetables in Pots,” which shows you how to grow everything imaginable in a pot. Squash, herbs, tomatoes, fruits and more. Color illustrations and clever locations for placing pots offer a new look on planting. Even if you have a large yard, sometimes it’s still nice to plant things close by so you can just run out and pick, or keep things from being attacked by animals. The library also has a large gardening book section to help you get started.

Abbie Kearney is a homicide detective in the novel “Black Irish” by Stephan Talty. A serial killer is on a rampage, but the more Abbie tries to find answers, the more she is rebuffed, even by fellow officers. When the calling card from the serial killer is on her own doorstep, it leads her to unknown history in her own family. Can she get to the bottom of this before it’s too late?

Learn how to print, dye and decorate your fabric in Laurie Wisbrun’s “Embellish Me.” Designing and printing fabric both digitally and by hand is covered. Step-by-step instructions with color photos make things easy to learn. Embellish fabric covers applique, embroidery, adding buttons and other materials touch just the tip of techniques offered.

Marnie and her little sister are the only ones who know what happened to their parents in “The Death of Bees,” a novel by Lisa O’Donnell. After a few months, their neighbor notices they are alone and he feels he can help them. He takes them in and they become a family. When outsiders start questioning things, the lies begin and get deeper, threatening to tear them apart.

Learn about pregnancy, birth, babies and child care from birth to age 3 in “The Baby Book” issued by Dorling Kindersley. Facts on all these topics along with advice help you with all aspects of pregnancy and child rearing. The book is organized so that you can spend just five minutes to quickly check something, or spend more time reading in depth. The breadth of topics makes this a valuable resource.

“The Things They Cannot Say” by Kevin Sites contains stories about what soldiers have seen and done, or even not done as they served during war time. Can you imagine what it’s like to kill another human? How does it feel to be shot at? What can you do to try and forget the horrors? The author has served the last decade covering war stories for major networks and writing this book also helped him combat the problems he experienced while reporting.

Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.

Marie Bruni is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Thursday. Her columns can be found online at