Wednesday, October 10 2007
This morning I took the dogs on a walk and managed to find the American Chestnut that had dropped the nut whose spiny husk I'd found while hiking with Penny and David on Sunday. It was less than fifty feet downhill from the trail and had dropped many dozens of similar husks, most of which had been emptied of nuts by squirrels. (I'm curious how they get through those spines.) The tree had a six inch trunk but reached all the way to the canopy. It had some evidence of bark swelling and cracking from the blight, but it wasn't severe. It had also sent up some sprouts from the roots, indicating that it must not be too healthy. Still, bearing as many nuts as it does provides hope that some trees are surviving this difficult Darwinian test. I brought a number of the husks home so I could extract (and perhaps plant) the nuts. Getting the nuts out of the well-armed husks required a pair of needle-nosed pliars and a screwdriver.
American Chestnut husks, covered with painfully-sharp spines. A squirrel deterrent?
American Chestnut leaves.
American Chestnut nuts. These were rather small.
The American Chestnut tree I found today.
Note the sprouts from the base and the slight swelling and cracking further up the trunk from a mild case of Chestnut Blight.
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