All of us can agree that no Christmas cannot be complete without chestnuts. And what better to celebrate the holiday with your family than throwing a couple of chestnuts in the fireplace? Chestnuts are an important Christmas tradition, and so is the tree itself. U.S students help restore blight-affected chestnut population by planting blight-resistant strains.
A new project is on the horizon which aims at restoring the blight-affected chestnuts trees from Georgia to Maine. Thus, several student volunteers from the University of New Hampshire are clearing the field this winter. As such, they are preparing the terrain for the new chestnut sprouts to be planted in early spring.
According to their battle plan, the students will plant approximately 350 new chestnut trees next spring in order to rejuvenate the chestnut forest. But hold on tight, because there will be a while until we can start picking up chestnuts for our Christmas party.
Agriculture experts have estimated that the new chestnut crop will reach maturity in 5 years.
We should state the fact that this wasn’t a one-sided endeavor. The project was drafted by a joint team, consisting of New Hampshire’s Agricultural Experiments Station, which is a part of the University of New Hampshire and the American Chestnut Foundation.
Their aim is to restore part of the forests affect by blight, a fungal infection that managed to decimate a large part of the chestnut population over a short period of time. In order to achieve this, the agricultural experiments lab have cross-bred different species of chestnuts.
This procedure was necessary in order to devise a new species of chestnuts which are capable of resisting against chestnut blight.
And, according to certain historical references, it would seem that the chestnut was quite a common tree 100 years ago. But, some time ago, it would seem that a strange disease began to affect some parts of the chestnut forest.
The scientists have found out that the chestnut blight was brought from Europe by accident when several tree merchants imported some diseased tree.
As stated, the chestnut blight is a tree infection caused by spore which is capable of growing beneath and in the chestnut’s bark. It would seem that the best solution to fight against this kind of fungal disease is genetically engineered chestnut trees.
Unlike their affected brethren, the newly genetical enhanced chestnut trees are capable of showing a higher degree of resistance against this type of fungal disease. U.S students help restore blight-affected chestnut population by planting 350 new sprouts.