Monday, July 12, 2021

Video 14, PJ's American Chestnut rescue plan

Here begins the 'Chestnut Liberation'. The Cloister at Three Creeks has only a handful of surviving root-shoots of the American Chestnut, a tree that used to be one of the dominant forest species in the area before a blight imported from Europe in 1904 killed off virtually every tree in the eastern US.

PJ proposes to give one of his charges a hand in its effort to produce seed before the Chestnut Blight fungus kills it back to the ground. There is hope for this effort. PJ has helped wild American Chestnuts produce seed in the past. Given a decent amount of light, natural wild American Chestnut trees do still produce seeds, and so, given time, even without human intervention, it is possible for the American Chestnut to evolve blight resistance and resume its stature as one of the great forest trees of the American East.

But, of course, humans love to meddle.  And we love underdogs, love to offer help and support to the sick and weak, and PJ is no exception; so a little human intervention seems like a fine idea, particularly with the unexpected secondary purpose PJ has in mind.

See what he proposes, as he undertakes to liberate his little friend the deep-woods Chestnut sprout.

Video uploaded for PJ Wetzel by F.I.T. Wilderness VLC

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