Pisgah Chestnuts!  

TOPIC: Pisgah Chestnuts!

== 1 of 2 ==
Date: Tues, Oct 9 2007 9:25 pm
From: James Parton


Yesterday, I was talking to my dad about the American chestnuts I had
found at Victor Fields, while talking to him he told me of some more
chestnuts he had found while picking blueberries near Mt. Pisgah, in
fact between Pisgah Inn and the mountain itself. After telling me the
location, I went up there today before heading on up to Graveyard
Fields. Since he had seen the chestnuts about 25 years ago I was
expecting to see only blight-killed trees. Dad had said the trees were
30 feet tall with viable chestnuts at the time. After climbing the
bank and entering the woods I quickly located a small but colorful
chestnut sapling. I found several others nearby. But after looking a
little more I found two sizeable trees! One was about 20-25 feet tall
and the other about 15ft. The largest one had a trunk about 5" in

DSC_3404.JPG (72453 bytes) DSC_3406.JPG (62496 bytes)
DSC_3413.JPG (82394 bytes)

Both had a lot of blight damage with cankers & dead limbs.
They may have once been taller but have been killed back. However I
found burrs on the ground that had already opened. Critters must have
got the nuts because I could not find any, even after digging around
in the leaf litter. Dad said the trees had appeared healthy when he
had seen them. These appear to be the ones that he had seen, since
they match the location he had given me. I intend to come back & do a
more thorough exploration of the area for more trees.

Will seems to specialize in hemlocks, I seem to have a special
affinity for the American Chestnut. Both are endangered trees. Too
bad they were no one able or willing to do a Castanea Search Project
when the American Chestnuts were falling during the height of the
blight. We would know so much more of their size & distribution than
what we do now, instead of relying on old archives and historical
accounts which are not wholly accurate.

James Parton

== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Tues, Oct 9 2007 9:51 pm
From: "Edward Frank"


The question is whether or not the nuts were viable. Many of the burrs
contain nuts that are malformed and infertile. If there are good formed
fertile nuts that is great, but the presence of burs alone is not a good
indication they have been cross-pollinated and are producing viable seeds.

Ed Frank

TOPIC: Pisgah Chestnuts!

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Wed, Oct 10 2007 2:57 pm
From: James Parton


Anyway, yes, Will & I found burrs on that tall chestnut in Cataloochee but the nuts were undersized & infertile. Dad
had remarked on some chestnuts found near Pisgah years ago that had full-sized fertile nuts. I don't know about the ones yesterday. I could only find the burr itself...