The New Jersey Forestry Association will hold a 90 minute “Restoring the American Chestnut for Robust Forests in the Eastern US webinar on Thursday, August 19th at 7pm
The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once found throughout the forests of the Appalachian Mountains, and was a primary component of Northeast forests. In the 1800s, plant importation brought with it a devastating fungal disease that all but eliminated the American chestnut from its original range.
The Appalachian forest ecosystem is vastly different now than it was over 100 years ago when American chestnut was often the dominant species of a stand. Invasive and exotic vegetation, introduced diseases and pests, ravenous and excessive deer herds, overdevelopment, and threats of climate change face a species made effectively dormant by introduced disease.
Given all those hurdles, one might think working toward chestnut restoration is simply a setup for defeat. Luckily, current research suggests populations of American chestnut could be self-sustainable, despite changing pressures, within the next 50 – 100 years.
Sara Fern Fitzsimmons is part of a team of researchers at Penn State who have been on the forefront to restore this species, exploring the many facets required for reintroduction of disease-resistant populations.
To take part in this webinar, register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/9316287688125/WN_Hq5o8SMLTj69cGYJiNJh8Q