The American Chestnut, known for its decay resistance, beauty and excellent millwork qualities, once reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodlands until succumbing to a chestnut blight introduced in 1904. The tree was once one of the most important and dominant species in the eastern United States. Many of the early American barns, cabins and buildings were made of chestnut and still stand today.Averaging five feet in diameter and up to 100 feet tall, the American Chestnut supplied wood for virtually everything - fine furniture, shingles, railroad ties, even pulp and plywood.
Since 1983, The American Chestnut Foundation has been working diligently to produce a blight resistant strain of the chestnut. Currently, 6,000 volunteers help maintain nearly 500 regional breeding orchards containing 120,000 experimental trees.
Through selective breeding with blight-resistant Asian stock, great progress has been made and new genetic techniques are opening even more possibilities. In fact, TACF has recently started an ambitious reforestation program with plans to plant 14,000 trees on over 360 acres of reclaimed mining sites. And for the first time, annual sponsors are now eligible to receive their own blight-resistant chestnut seed stock.
Banks Hardwoods proudly supports TACF’s work to restore the American Chestnut as a viable, productive species and we encourage others to do the same.
With much support and hard work, it’s only a matter of time before the Chestnut will once again grace our landscape. For more information, visit
www.acf.org or call 802-447-0110.