Stacy L. Clark, PhD, Research Forester, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, The University of Tennessee will present a program on American Chestnut Restoration
An exotic pathogen, the chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica Murr. Barr), decimated the American chestnut (Castanea dentata Marsh. Borkh.) throughout eastern North America in the first half of the 20th century. American chestnut was a keystone species in the eastern hardwood forests, and its demise likely caused significant ecological changes, such as loss in the availability of hard mast. To date, planning for American chestnut restoration has emphasized producing a blight-resistant tree, but successful restoration also will require an understanding of the silvicultural parameters needed to regenerate the species.