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The Chestnuts Are In


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The chestnut tree was one of the most abundant and most important trees in our forests, for both wildlife and people.  The bad news, an invasive blight wiped them out.  The good news, we have been able to produce a blight resistant strain.

 

There is a limited supply of the blight resistant trees this year and they are only available at a handful of Walmarts here in NJ.  They just came in yesterday.

 

My students and I will be planting these trees up on Sparta Mountain WMA as part of a habitat project with F&W.  It would be great to see these trees reestablished once again.

 

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All of my church's pews were made out of chestnut which, as you said, was the predominant forest species before the blight hit it.  We had some spare seats stored in the church basement that some wanted to throw away until I pointed out that finding chestnut today if a repair or replacement pew was needed would be next to impossible.  

 

Great job with your students, Rusty!  Still not sure of my schedule and if I'll be joining you or not.  BTW, I have chronicled chestnut shoots from stumps on Sparta Mountain, but they seldom reach more than a foot or so before the blight takes them again.   

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Amazing to think that 1 out of every 4 trees in the Northeast was a chestnut a scant 100 years ago....

 

That wasn't by accident, thanks to some creative use of fire as a management tool.

 

The Native Americans would collect the dead sticks on the forest floor, they would take them away from the trees that they wanted to keep and stack them around the trees that they wanted to get rid of.  They would then set fire to the woods and the trees with the sticks stacked around them would die while the others were left untouched. 

 

I asked if I could do that on Sparta Mountain but they said no.  I don't know why??   :rofl:    

Edited by Rusty
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That wasn't by accident, thanks to some creative use of fire as a management tool.

 

The Native Americans would collect the dead sticks on the forest floor, they would take them away from the trees that they wanted to keep and stack them around the trees that they wanted to get rid of.  They would then set fire to the woods and the trees with the sticks stacked around them would die while the others were left untouched. 

 

I asked if I could do that on Sparta Mountain but they said no.  I don't know why??   :rofl:    

 

 

You have to own or control the land to play God, Rusty :)

 

I'm carrying out a Jihad against my black birch, for example, on the private land next door.  Not to mention any and all Chinese Aylanthus, Japanese barberry and multi flora rose   :rofl:

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I jihad multiflora with a chain and john deere, schumock trees with mr bush hog.

 

Why don't you get your lazy son up to help?  Oh yeah, because he's catching trout on the upper mainstem today.  He just texted me a beauty he landed on a dry fly....

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Thanks for posting all of this info guys.  I enjoyed the articles and learned a bunch.  I have limited knowledge of trees and plants and am looking to work on that.  It just prompted me to go out in my backyard and look at the chestnut tree and learn that it is a chinese chestnut.  Thanks!

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Maybe I could con Rusty into helping me set something up on forestry management for game habitat up in Sparta this summer if he's around.  We'd welcome anyone with or without experience and could tour some projects on public and private lands if anyone is interested.  Oh yeah, and shoot guns on my 25, 50 or 100 yard range :)

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Maybe I could con Rusty into helping me set something up on forestry management for game habitat up in Sparta this summer if he's around.  We'd welcome anyone with or without experience and could tour some projects on public and private lands if anyone is interested.  Oh yeah, and shoot guns on my 25, 50 or 100 yard range :)

 

Sounds like fun, I'm in.   :up:

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