Pfeiffer Nature Center is happy to to join an established partnership between the NY Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, Cornell University, and the National Wild Turkey Federation to reintroduce the American Chestnut.
Once called Queen of the Forest, 1 in every 4 trees in northeastern forests was an American Chestnut. Chestnuts were an important source of food for farm animals and people alike, and the wood was prized for everything from fence posts to ship masts. Then the Chestnut blight hit, killing all but a handful of trees in the United States.
The American Chestnut tree has a particular significance for Pfeiffer Nature Center, since that’s what our historic log cabin is made from.
So when we had the chance to plant some unmodified American Chestnut seedlings on our Lillibridge Road property, we jumped at it. It’s true that these seedlings are likely to succumb to the blight, which remains active in the soil, but with a little luck, these trees will produce fruit before they die, and with even more luck, some of their fruit will produce blight-resistant trees.
On May 22 volunteers Jeff McMullen and Josh White planted 9 saplings around the upper meadow on our Lillibridge property. Wish our trees long and prosperous lives!