Lisle, Ill. (Oct. 16, 2013) – At one time the mighty giants of the eastern U.S. forests, American chestnut trees stood to 100 feet tall and numbered in the billions. But their numbers were decimated in the beginning of the 20th century as a result of chestnut blight.
Today, ArbNet has partnered with The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to help efforts to revive the now-endangered chestnut tree. Arboreta accredited through ArbNet will be invited to participate in TACF’s planting program, consisting of several varieties of chestnut trees, along with a resource guide to planting chestnuts in their arboretum.
To restore the American chestnut, TACF is tasked with planting and monitoring more than one million blight-resistant trees in the next seven years. The ArbNet partnership is designed to help arboreta interested in helping further TACF’s mission, by offering select arboreta several packages of trees showcasing the American chestnut. Chestnut varieties available for planting include:
- American chestnut
- Chinese chestnut
- Restoration Chestnut 1.0, a potentially blight-resistant chestnut, the result of 30 years of backcross breeding.
“We are so pleased to be working with the ArbNet network of arboreta in our efforts to restore the chestnut tree,” said Bryan Burhans, TACF’s president and CEO. “We encourage the ArbNet community to consider planting chestnuts at their location to help revive this great American tree.”
ArbNet members interested in growing TACF’s chestnut trees should log on to ArbNet (www.arbnet.org) for more information and to download the resource and growers’ guide.
ArbNet is an online, interactive community of arboreta that supports the common purposes and interests of tree-focused public gardens. ArbNet facilitates the exchange of information and the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta achieve their goals. The ultimate goal of ArbNet and its member arboreta is to encourage the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. ArbNet is sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum, in cooperation with the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. For more information, visit www.arbnet.org.
About The American Chestnut Foundation
In 1983, a dedicated group of scientists formed The American Chestnut Foundation with a mission to develop blight-resistant American chestnut trees. Now assisted by nearly 6,000 members, volunteers, and partners, the organization is undertaking the planting of potentially blight-resistant trees in select locations throughout the eastern US. TACF is a 501 (c) 3 conservation organization headquartered in Asheville, NC, that has nearly 6,000 members and volunteers in 16 state chapters. For more information on TACF and their work to restore the American chestnut tree, visit www.acf.org.