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Author Topic: Chestnut Restoration  (Read 1276 times)

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Offline ESFted

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Chestnut Restoration
« on: September 13, 2020, 08:59:52 PM »
The USDA is accepting comments on a petition to allow the deregulation of a genetically engineered American Chestnut.  Modified plants introduced into forests would breed with wild chestnuts to increase blight resistance. More info here,  and here.
S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry '65
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Offline Don P

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020, 09:17:20 PM »
I wish them success, as always in this I worry about unintended outcomes.
The state Forest here is doing the backcrossing and is having success so I take his dismissal of that path with a grain of salt. Either way it would be great to see them back in the wild in large numbers.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Carabnr

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2020, 05:25:17 PM »
Interesting concept. I would love to play with some chunks of AMerican Chestnut. Such a beautiful wood.

Do you believe there could be any unintentional consequences?

Offline offrink

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 07:56:36 PM »
Michigan has a viable stock of wild American chestnut. I have three 4 year old trees that are 3 and 22 new 6 that have survived the summer that I got from traverse city and would hate for them to let loose a  I guarantee it wont go anywhere near the plan. 

Offline Don P

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 09:20:58 PM »
The blight is still very active here. trees will survive until about nut bearing age which is when the bark begins to go from smooth to mature cracked bark. Then the orange fruiting body of the blight shows up in the cracked bark and they decline rapidly. Scarlet oaks are also a host for the blight although it doesn't kill them.

@Carabnr, I can't answer that question other than to say that when we play the creator I think we are ill equipped to forsee all the consequences. When we intentionally shipped whole genetically modified corn kernels to Mexico as "food aid" some of it was understandably planted. Those genetics are now in all the corn there, which is where the original natural genetics came from. In other words we can never again go back to the original unadultered source. Wheat came from Iraq, guess what. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti Monsanto offered GM seed to their farmers as "charity". The free seed would have been a monkey on their back for the rest of time. They refused even though in dire straits, that is a lesson in character and ethics.

There is great promise in that bottle but I'm not at all convinced that we are mature enough to uncork it.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 09:54:57 PM »
Thanks for the thread.  I would plant some on my land.  Tim
Never explain, your friends don't need it, and your enemies won't believe you any way.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Chestnut Restoration
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2020, 09:05:20 AM »
I used to see small chestnut saplings and a few ~ 3-5" dia young trees on my ridges but not seen one lately as they are fading from existence. 
We have seen superb, huge American Chestnuts when travelling in Ireland to estate gardens with plants from around the world. 
Given the original wild stock trees still grow blight free, where planted, in states outside their native range like MI,WI, I've wondered why such a valuable source of wood hasn't been grown in plantations more? Also Europe-why not grown there in plantations? 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not


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