Restoring the Chestnut Tree

Once wide ranging in the eastern U.S. and an important food source for deer, the trees were destroyed by blight. Efforts are underway to restore the chestnut trees.

A Hybrid American chestnut tree of the type in the image below can be shipped from TriStar Plants through Amazon in a 2 gallon container.

Video Below: Dr. James Kroll and R.D. Wallace of Chestnut Hill Nursery discuss the history of the chestnut and why it was the most important food tree for deer, and how the blight resistant Dunstan Chestnut makes possible replanting the American forests with chestnut trees to attract deer. - April 3, 2013

In 1904, a fungal blight was first discovered on trees in New York City, accidentally introduced from imported Asian chestnut trees. The blight spread quickly, decimating the chestnut trees that once dominated the eastern forests. The new American chestnut trees have been genetically altered to make them resistant to the blight. Although rarely available, deer still love chestnuts.

News about the Chestnut Tree and Its Restoration

The American chestnut is not dead September 26, 2022 Virginia, Cardinal News

... “I’ve been working with The American Chestnut Foundation for 10 years,” Holliday said. “If somebody gets in touch with TACF and says, ‘We want to have this tree tested,’ they’ll send it to us most likely. As far as the testing, you can do it with any species, lots of labs do this sort of stuff. But as far as wild chestnuts that people find on their land, they’re probably going to find their way to me...

One of the Best Trees for Deer: The Origins of the Dunstan Chestnut September 17, 2019

... Before the first Europeans arrived, and for a long time after, the forests of eastern North America looked very different than they do today... Those forests were also dominated by American chestnuts ... wiped out by a blight... deer love acorns, a preference for chestnuts is still permanently encoded into their DNA. They recognize the nutritional superiority of chestnuts ... Chestnut tree seeds ... Chestnut trees ...

Restoring the American chestnut by researching its genome July 23, 2019 Virginia Tech

...a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will help Associate Professor Jason Holliday of the College of Natural Resources and Environment research methods to utilize the genetic diversity of remaining trees as part of broader efforts to introduce disease-resistant American chestnuts to U.S. forests...

ODNR helping restore chestnut trees to Ohio landscapes January 4, 2016 Morrow County Sentinel

... Native populations of American chestnut were devastated by the chestnut blight disease that was introduced to the U.S. during the early 1900s... until its decline in population, provided important food for bear, deer, turkey ...

American chestnut may rise again May 8, 2016 New Hampshire, Concord Monitor

... the ongoing effort to restore the American chestnut to eastern forests. Six trees – crossbred with the blight-resistant Chinese chestnut over multiple generations – were planted on Concord land ... could produce as many as 6,000 nuts, which because they were loaded with protein and vitamins were a vital food staple for bears, deer and other wildlife ...

Chestnuts show promise (deer browsing not a problem) August 8, 2011 Tennessee, Knoxville News Sentinel

...Once an essential component of the eastern forest ecosystem, the American chestnut was decimated by a lethal fungus known as the chestnut blight that spread from Maine to Florida and west to the Ohio Valley during the early-to-mid 1990s...."We're hoping to continue monitoring these trees for at least the next 10 years," Clark said. "Our goal it to determine the best prescription for planting chestnuts in the woods on a forest-wide scale."