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American chestnut


Yesterday my Garden Club was given a tour of the experimental 
grove of American chestnuts here at Lasdon Park & Arboretum, and
a most informational talk by Craig Hibben, the director of the grove,
about the work being done to develop a disease-resistant strain.  
That was fascinating, including both the scientific and the 
political elements in the effort. But what I found even more 
interesting was the wide range of coping devices the
tree has to insure its survival.  I already knew that the fungus does
not seem to attack the roots, and that fallen trees will continue
to send up suckers from the roots.  These suckers will grow into
saplings and often produce nuts before they succumb to the
disease and the procedure starts all over again.  What I did not
know is that when a tree is attacked, even though it is very young,
it produces an unusually large number of flowers and fruit. The
American chestnut is one "tough nut."  It looks as if there is 
really hopes for its eventual return.
Auralie

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