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Old January 3rd 19, 12:45 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On 1/2/2019 7:40 AM, Sonny wrote:
On Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 2:56:08 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

West of the Rockies, any chestnut you find is an exotic; they aren't
native. You can probably eliminate the Tumwater specimens as being
hybrids simply from their age as before anybody was working on the
project.


In that link, the guy was a visitor, vacationing I assume. No relevant info about the tree.

On 1/2/2019 7:40 AM, Sonny wrote: On Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at
2:56:08 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

West of the Rockies, any chestnut you find is an exotic; they aren't
native. You can probably eliminate the Tumwater specimens as being
hybrids simply from their age as before anybody was working on the
project.


In that link, the guy was a visitor, vacationing I assume. No relevant info about the tree.

....
Yeah, I noticed that they were from VA, I believe...

Daughter just sent a picture -- _much_ better resolution and explains a
lot--those were massively cropped back to nothing but stubs quite a long
time ago; the pictures they took pretty much disguise the fact or don't
show the damaged sections at all. Given that, it's no wonder they don't
look like much; who know what may have been done even earlier?

If you look at the one image that duplicates the silhouette in the
Discover article, then knowing it you can clearly see the size
difference...I kinda' noticed a little of that in one or two, but hadn't
realized the whole thing had been totally butchered...and in Cindy's
picture, looks to me like this wasn't the first time, either...note
particularly the large knob at the end of the smallish branch off to the
right of the LH specimen...

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Old January 3rd 19, 02:32 AM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On 12/31/2018 6:18 PM, Sonny wrote:
....

These trees don't seem to be typical tall trees, with branches starting high up. There's no confirming they aren't hybrid. Supposedly, west of the Rockies old trees are blight and hybrid free.

....

That's cuz they've been terribly cropped and no telling what else...I
sent Cindy's first picture to your email addy that shows them very clearly.

Since the park is part of a cemetery/funeral home now and there was a
service scheduled not long after she was there, she didn't try to learn
anything more on this trip about just how old they really might be or
their provenance regarding how they came to be. I'd guess they are
"real", not hybrids however.

I hadn't read the Discover article reference until just now; it starts
out with the fella' from VPI I knew and mentions the others that were
living on down in the article a ways. As of '04, it appears he may have
still been active; of course, that's another 15 years since, now,
almost; I'd guess he would be near 80 now, if not over...

https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/jrnl/1978/ne_1978_macdonald_chestnutproc.pdf

Proceedings from a conference in which he presented some of his
research; much early work and all you'd ever want to know of the
pathology...

--

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Old January 3rd 19, 05:03 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 7:32:53 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/jrnl/1978/ne_1978_macdonald_chestnutproc.pdf

Proceedings from a conference in which he presented some of his
research; much early work and all you'd ever want to know of the
pathology...

--


Apparently my previous reading and research has led me to the wrong conclusions. I suppose I should have researched the origin (who stated such) of those articles, rather than what they had to say.

I was led to believe the west-of-the-Rockies trees were fungus free, planted by pioneers before the fungus was ever here.

I haven't read all the (link) proceedings, but it states that, even back then (early 1900s), the western trees were, in fat, hybrids, as you say.

I spoke with Willis Orchards, and several folks from the Ashville, NC chestnut foundation office and they confirmed that there are authentic seeds and seedlings available. The issue may be whether any growing products will subsequently be affected by the fungus.... again, as you stated and what I assessed, as well.

I've decided to gamble on getting 10 two year old plants and see what happens. Might be wishful thinking, but $200 and some planting & care labor is not a major investment. The Ashville folks sent me lots of info regarding soil, planting, care, etc. I haven't read through all that stuff, yet, but I feel a little more confident, than months ago.

My biggest concern, now, is whether the fungus is in my area, which seems to be several hundred miles south of the native range of the original growth areas.

Other concerns for my particular project:
1) Soil conditions are not exactly as lower Appalachian states, but it is sandy soil, not clay.
2) Summer heat may affect growth.
3) A few southern insects, like curculio caryatrypes and other weevil type bugs, will damage/destroy the nuts, themselves.
4) There may be other southern bugs that damage the wood, bark and/or leaves, i.e., maybe as to why the tree's original range doesn't extend to the far south (other than preferred soil type). I would suspect year 'round warm weather and excessive moisture contribute to greater insect activity.
5) No telling what other issues I may discover.

Sonny
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Old January 3rd 19, 05:27 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On 1/3/2019 10:03 AM, Sonny wrote:
On Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 7:32:53 PM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/jrnl/1978/ne_1978_macdonald_chestnutproc.pdf

Proceedings from a conference in which he presented some of his
research; much early work and all you'd ever want to know of the
pathology...

--


Apparently my previous reading and research has led me to the wrong
conclusions. I suppose I should have researched the origin (who stated
such) of those articles, rather than what they had to say.

I was led to believe the west-of-the-Rockies trees were fungus free,
planted by pioneers before the fungus was ever here.

I haven't read all the (link) proceedings, but it states that, even
back then (early 1900s), the western trees were, in fat, hybrids, as you say.


I haven't read tremendous amounts of it, either, I was mostly curious as
to what Gary Griffin had published.

Which paper states that, do you recall? My gut feeling is that these
two specimens probably were/are true American chestnuts from somebody's
planting of nuts they did bring with them or that were just from the
Christmas stash when they were still widely available commercially
("Chestnuts roasting...") I remember them well in the days as a kid in
grandma's cupboard in the 50s, yet.

It's very difficult to try to guess just how old those two in Tumwater
may be given the abuse they've suffered...daughter is going to do some
more legwork and see if can learn anything more. Not that matters that
much, but it is a matter of curiosity, now!


I spoke with Willis Orchards, and several folks from the Ashville, NC chestnut foundation office and they confirmed that there are authentic seeds and seedlings available. The issue may be whether any growing products will subsequently be affected by the fungus.... again, as you stated and what I assessed, as well.

I've decided to gamble on getting 10 two year old plants and see what happens. Might be wishful thinking, but $200 and some planting & care labor is not a major investment. The Ashville folks sent me lots of info regarding soil, planting, care, etc. I haven't read through all that stuff, yet, but I feel a little more confident, than months ago.

My biggest concern, now, is whether the fungus is in my area, which seems to be several hundred miles south of the native range of the original growth areas.

Other concerns for my particular project:
1) Soil conditions are not exactly as lower Appalachian states, but it is sandy soil, not clay.
2) Summer heat may affect growth.
3) A few southern insects, like curculio caryatrypes and other weevil type bugs, will damage/destroy the nuts, themselves.
4) There may be other southern bugs that damage the wood, bark and/or leaves, i.e., maybe as to why the tree's original range doesn't extend to the far south (other than preferred soil type). I would suspect year 'round warm weather and excessive moisture contribute to greater insect activity.
5) No telling what other issues I may discover.


Indeed; don't know that you have anything to lose other than some
capital investment and time...if your area turns out to be free of the
fungus, there's a reasonable chance they'll outlast you.

One would _presume_ these folks are using cultivars that have been the
result of some of the breeding programs and so have what level of
resistance that has achieved by now; did they give any hints/information
along those lines of the source of their seedlings?

As far as climatology and soil and stretching the range...we've brought
innumerable maples, oaks, poplars, etc., etc., back from VA and TN to SW
KS over the time since (now 50 years) the first move to VA for Dad to
try to establish something besides the Siberian elms...nary a one has
managed to survive more than a few years at most--the hot, dry summers
and much colder, dry winters are simply more than they can stand when
combined with the difference in soils. Just required far more care than
was ever time available for with the need to actually farm for a living.

There are quite a number of oaks and even a few maples in town where
they are more protected from the wind and are in yards that get more
regular TLC so it is possible to keep just one or two going if one has
the time to put in the necessary efforts to pamper them sufficiently.

--
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Old January 4th 19, 06:08 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 10:27:59 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:

I was led to believe the west-of-the-Rockies trees were fungus free,
planted by pioneers before the fungus was ever here.

I haven't read all the (link) proceedings, but it states that, even
back then (early 1900s), the western trees were, in fat, hybrids, as you say.


Which paper states that, do you recall?


States what? 1) That I was led to believe, etc., etc. .... OR 2) That western trees were hybrid?

I've read a lot in the past months. It was in one of those readings that a statement was made about the pioneer plantings being free of the fungus. Apparently that was wrong, at least to some extent, or otherwise the fungus eventually may its way over the Rockies.

I assume you're asking about #2, that the western trees were hybrids. Maybe not all the trees were hybrids. Pioneers may have planted original trees. As to the Proceedings write-up, the very beginning, "The Devastation of the American Chestnut by Blight", on page 2 left lower column. From this, I'm assuming at least some of the trees were hybrids and probably some of this planting/transplanting carried the fungus, there, in some way.

" Thus natural resistance in Asiatic chestnuts indicated an Asian origin
for the pathogen was likely. In the fall of 1912 diseased chestnut material from Agassiz, British Columbia, proved to contain E. parasitica ( Shear et
al., 1917). Chestnut was not native to British Colubbia and the Agassiz planting contained stock of American, European, and Asian origin. Although
all the trees were ordered from American nursery firms, the planting supervisor remembered the Asian species were shipped to Agassiz in the original wrappings which consisted of distinctive Asian mats and casings. "

Further on page 3,
" Furthermore, evidence from several outbreaks in ornamental and orchard plantings in the western United States proved that even limited infestations were impossible to eradicate. At the Agassiz, B.C., site, all infected trees were destroyed in 1912; however, the disease appeared on other trees in 1934 ( Gravatt, 1935). In Gunter, Oregon, the disease was found on two trees in 1929; these trees were cut and burned. However, in 1934 the fungus was still active on one stump a foot below ground ( Gravatt, 1935). In
California, the disease persisted from 1934 until at least 1945 in spite of meticulous eradication and sanitation efforts in the orchards on an annual basis ( Milbrath, 1945)."

For months I've been trying to find where I can obtain either fungus free seedlings or the nuts. I had contacted either a Michigan or Illinois "firm" (I don't recall which State) to obtain nuts. They never followed up with further communication. Subsequently, I thought western samples were my best bet.

With all the confusing (for me) info, I began to reason I should just select "X" and give it a try. So, that's where I'm at. After speaking with Willis Orchards and the Ashville folks, I'm a little more confident with selecting the Willis Orchard seedlings. These may be better adapted for the southern climate, soil, etc.

Sonny


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Old January 5th 19, 03:54 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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On 1/4/2019 11:08 AM, Sonny wrote:
....

I assume you're asking about #2, that the western trees were hybrids. Maybe not all the trees were hybrids. Pioneers may have planted original trees. As to the Proceedings write-up, the very beginning, "The Devastation of the American Chestnut by Blight", on page 2 left lower column. From this, I'm assuming at least some of the trees were hybrids and probably some of this planting/transplanting carried the fungus, there, in some way.


Yeah, that was what caught my eye...

I don't believe that's _quite_ what they're saying...that the Western
infected stock was of "American, European, and Asian origin" isn't
saying they were hybrids...not all American chestnut, yes, but not hybrids.

Sorta' minor point and asked not to argue but that I was really curious
if it pointed out that there had been such extensive efforts to
hybridize that early against the disease; but what this says matches up
with my understanding that that didn't happen until beginning after that
time with the efforts in NY and PA other that previous efforts aimed for
commercial enhanced nut production, not for disease resistance nor lumber.

There were efforts for commercial nut production in CA and rest of west
coast quite early; those were ready fodder for the blight when it got
into the region via essentially the same path as the east coast;
ordered-in oriental stock that was natively resistant but contained the
spores or nonfatal growth. There just weren't so many as east so didn't
make the major natural disaster of the east and so isn't as well known
to have happened which probably also helped to spread the general idea
that there isn't the infection in the west...and there are probably
still large areas for which that is true, but they'll be all those
places that simply aren't suitable for the chestnut to grow or in which
they've never been introduced and nobody built a house and ordered in
any orientals for they yard would be my guess.

....

With all the confusing (for me) info, I began to reason I should just select "X" and give it a try. So, that's where I'm at. After speaking with Willis Orchards and the Ashville folks, I'm a little more confident with selecting the Willis Orchard seedlings. These may be better adapted for the southern climate, soil, etc.


....

I think that's really the best you _can_ do, yes. Did the Willis people
give you any indication of where there root stock is coming from and
what they/the providers of same have done to promote resistance? Their
web site is entirely mum on the subject only talking of the climate
adaptability aspects.

Not heard any more from the daughter on whether she can find out
anything else on the origin of the two in Tumwater...I'm still guessing
those were "Christmas nuts" somebody just planted once upon a time...

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Old January 6th 19, 04:36 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:54:17 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:
Did the Willis people
give you any indication of where there root stock is coming from and
what they/the providers of same have done to promote resistance? Their
web site is entirely mum on the subject only talking of the climate
adaptability aspects.


I didn't ask them where their stock came from. They assured me their stock was the real thing and not hybridized. This doesn't mean it's not genetically altered, though. I'll call them again and ask, specifically, about their stock and its origin. This info may be helpful. If this is the best stock available, then I have no alternative but to accept and use it.

Sonny
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Old January 6th 19, 06:10 PM posted to rec.woodworking
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Default American Chestnut

On 1/6/2019 9:36 AM, Sonny wrote:
On Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 8:54:17 AM UTC-6, dpb wrote:
Did the Willis people
give you any indication of where there root stock is coming from and
what they/the providers of same have done to promote resistance? Their
web site is entirely mum on the subject only talking of the climate
adaptability aspects.


I didn't ask them where their stock came from. They assured me their stock was the real thing and not hybridized. This doesn't mean it's not genetically altered, though. I'll call them again and ask, specifically, about their stock and its origin. This info may be helpful. If this is the best stock available, then I have no alternative but to accept and use it.


Would be interesting to know something of, indeed...I really don't think
there's anything else one can do now if want to try to grow "the real
McCoy" but hope one's location doesn't have a history of the fungus in
the area combined with, hopefully, stock that has been derived from one
of the selection for resistance programs such as what Gary was involved
in that are at least somewhat more resistant than the originals were
with the rarest of exception.

I've not done enough recent reading/research to know if any of the
gene-splicing experiments, etc., have gotten to the stage of there being
any results available commercially or not...

I was just curious as to what the status was/is as your posting
rekindled my interest from Lo! those many years ago wandering the
backwoods and seeing a marvel. Next time we make the trip to see the
kids back that direction I think I'll try to make a side trip if I can
find anybody at VPI that would be willing to share what the status of
those specimens is 40 years later.

When we made the move from VA to TN, the purchased house wasn't ready
for a month or so so we "camped out" in the tourist cabins up at the
Norris State Park at Norris Dam ...the first month was still in August
while the park programs were still operating and the kids got to know
the young man who was the summer naturalist on staff very well. He took
us on a couple of far off-the-beaten track hikes; one of which went back
into one of the very few remaining areas of virgin timber...there were a
few still-standing chestnuts, but none of tremendous size; those had all
fallen but there were some logs half-buried butts of which were
mid-chest high; easily 5+-ft diam.

Also beech, birch, poplars of awe-inspiring sizes...the existence of
these areas was/is pretty-much kept under wraps for the same reason Gary
didn't let anybody know where his specimens were--insufficient resources
to be able to adequately guard them if were known to general public.

--


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