It’s too bad that disease and foreign insects are destroying the forests of this country. We lost the chestnut and the elm. The beech are steadily dying and now the ash. When will it ever end?
Well, you can do something to help. The American chestnut was the dominant hardwood tree in our forests 100 years ago, but a blight killed most of them. Recently, The American Chestnut Foundation has been working with SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry to produce a blight-resistant chestnut tree. Finally, a disease-resistant tree has been produced. Over the next few years, they will be producing as many of these as possible to jump-start the reforestation of these beautiful trees and renew our forests.
If you would like to help, contact Allen Nichols, who lives near Laurens, at 607-263-5105. He’s the president of the NY Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation. Check out ESF’s website to find out more about the Darling Trees at www.esf.edu/chestnut/resistance.htm. They need our help.
Maybe once again we can see something “under the spreading chestnut tree,” as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said. It probably won’t be a village smithy. There aren’t many of them around anymore, but the chestnut tree is on its way back.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.