U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Nature
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-27-2020, 07:05 PM
 
11,095 posts, read 10,233,999 times
Reputation: 14381

Advertisements

Interesting that chestnut trees were so major

Can Genetic Engineering Bring Back the American Chestnut?
The tree helped build industrial America before disease wiped out an estimated three billion or more of them. To revive their lost glory, we may need to embrace tinkering with nature.

When he heard the hunter’s report of having seen a living chestnut whose trunk was two feet thick and rose to the height of a five-story building, he was skeptical. “I wasn’t sure I believed he knew what one was,” Darling says. When Darling found the tree, it was like beholding a mythical creature.
Chestnuts were reliable. Unlike oaks, which drop acorns only during some years, chestnut trees produce a huge nut crop every fall. Chestnuts are also digestible: You can peel the skin off and eat one raw.
Everything and everybody ate chestnuts: deer, squirrels, bears, birds, humans. Farmers loosed their hogs to fatten in the forest. Train cars loaded high with chestnuts rolled from the mountains to the cities around Christmastime, and yes, they really were roasted over open fires. “It is claimed that in certain districts the farmers realize more income from the sale of chestnuts than from all other farm products,”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/30/m...-chestnut.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-27-2020, 07:47 PM
 
13,250 posts, read 6,263,196 times
Reputation: 24060
There's probably something unique genetically about this chestnut that has survived which makes it less vulnerable to the disease. You would think studies would be under way to find out and if it is less susceptible then all that needs to be done is start to clone it probably with tissue culture. There would be no need to genetically engineer anything.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2020, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,368 posts, read 13,131,087 times
Reputation: 12317
20 of us own a hunting camp in northeastern PA. Our property has some native American Chestnut trees; but most of them do not grow to any size before the disease starts to kill them. Several years ago we did have one tree that was about 18" in diameter. I wrote Penn State's Sara Fitzsimmons about our tree and she was going to include it in the work their foundation is doing. Here is a link to The American Chestnut Foundation: https://www.acf.org/. On that link you can see some of their restoration projects. Unfortunately our tree died from the disease before it could be used in the work.

There are still a few smaller native trees on our property and the surrounding properties. Unfortunately I do not believe that there are any still alive that have reached the size and height of their ancestors: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...A7&FORM=IQFRBA.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2020, 08:45 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,836 posts, read 20,945,438 times
Reputation: 38426
All I know is that I wish they could save the American chestnut. I didn't read the above article but I have been a fan of the chestnut tree ever since my dad used to tell me about how beautiful they were, how their nuts were the original "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", how the poem about "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree" was about the great American chestnut, not the common horse chestnut that I could find.

Once, in his old age, he found an American chestnut tree growing in a park. He thought it might grow to maturity but of course, it died of the disease as they all do.

Over the years I've read of crossing it with a stronger type found elsewhere in the world but then it wouldn't be the same Chestnut that was known and loved by our ancestors.

I worked in a one hundred year old building in which the woodwork resembled oak but a knowledgeable person said the woodwork was actually chestnut, a very strong wood. It was darker than oak but had a similar grain.

I can't add anything about genetic engineering but I can only say that the return of the American chestnut would be a great thing. It seems that it would take a miracle though.
__________________
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-27-2020, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,368 posts, read 13,131,087 times
Reputation: 12317
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
All I know is that I wish they could save the American chestnut. I didn't read the above article but I have been a fan of the chestnut tree ever since my dad used to tell me about how beautiful they were, how their nuts were the original "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", how the poem about "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree" was about the great American chestnut, not the common horse chestnut that I could find.

Once, in his old age, he found an American chestnut tree growing in a park. He thought it might grow to maturity but of course, it died of the disease as they all do.

Over the years I've read of crossing it with a stronger type found elsewhere in the world but then it wouldn't be the same Chestnut that was known and loved by our ancestors.

I worked in a one hundred year old building in which the woodwork resembled oak but a knowledgeable person said the woodwork was actually chestnut, a very strong wood. It was darker than oak but had a similar grain.

I can't add anything about genetic engineering but I can only say that the return of the American chestnut would be a great thing. It seems that it would take a miracle though.
If you followed that link I posted to the ACF they show some of their restoration work: https://www.acf.org/science-strategies/restoration/. There is one picture of a strip mine site where they planted some of the trees - they show a before and 12 year later picture. When I had contacted them I sent them sample of the leaves and branches of our tree for proper identification. At that time they were making hybrids of Chinese Chestnuts and our American Chestnuts so they would live disease free. But they also sponsored some other projects.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2020, 02:21 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,993 posts, read 1,561,012 times
Reputation: 9280
Here's a little more informative site than the beggars at the acf present. http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/facts...tnutblight.pdf


It looks like, so far, the efforts have been to use good ol' husbandry selection techniques to cross species resistant to the fungus with the American Chestnut species. Maybe new molecular genetic/GMO techniques will enable them to select only the genes that confer resistance without producing a new hybrid species, basically preserving the Am Chestnut genome.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2020, 04:31 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
21,836 posts, read 20,945,438 times
Reputation: 38426
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Here's a little more informative site than the beggars at the acf present. http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/facts...tnutblight.pdf


It looks like, so far, the efforts have been to use good ol' husbandry selection techniques to cross species resistant to the fungus with the American Chestnut species. Maybe new molecular genetic/GMO techniques will enable them to select only the genes that confer resistance without producing a new hybrid species, basically preserving the Am Chestnut genome.
That's what I've heard. Every few years you hear that they managed to get an American chestnut tree to maturity. Then you hear nothing. So I suppose they die before they can bear fruit. If GMO could save them, it might be the one time I'd be in favor of GMO.
__________________
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2020, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,368 posts, read 13,131,087 times
Reputation: 12317
Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
That's what I've heard. Every few years you hear that they managed to get an American chestnut tree to maturity. Then you hear nothing. So I suppose they die before they can bear fruit. If GMO could save them, it might be the one time I'd be in favor of GMO.
They do live to bear fruit; even the ones that only grow to a few inches in diameter. Otherwise there would be none of them left alive. I even remember collecting the nuts when I was young in the 1960's and waiting for them to start splitting open. You want a good pair of leather gloves on because those 'needles' protruding from the shells are quick to draw blood. I could never understand how the farmer's pigs ever ate the chestnuts.

I have spotted the smaller, three to six inch in diameter, trees in many places around my County. Driving the 3 mile dirt road into my camp I still see several.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2020, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,368 posts, read 13,131,087 times
Reputation: 12317
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Here's a little more informative site than the beggars at the acf present. http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/facts...tnutblight.pdf


It looks like, so far, the efforts have been to use good ol' husbandry selection techniques to cross species resistant to the fungus with the American Chestnut species. Maybe new molecular genetic/GMO techniques will enable them to select only the genes that confer resistance without producing a new hybrid species, basically preserving the Am Chestnut genome.
Why are you bad mouthing the ACF? Sara was very helpful and was going to include our tree in their work until it died. Maybe the organization changed over the years? But I was very impressed with their response and work. Take a look at some of the photos of the old mining land they planted with the chestnut trees.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-28-2020, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
12,713 posts, read 4,035,473 times
Reputation: 9376
On the west coast they still have large American chestnuts that were planted long ago that are still doing fine. There's a good-sized one here near where I used to live north of Seattle that I always noticed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Nature
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top