One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there,

We ran by this one some time ago. The leaves should be fully out, but we wanted to see if you humans recognize this tree.

Mystery #118

Check back with you later!

~~~

We had a couple of stabs at what this leaf might be, and lots of looks. Ms. Flora knew the tree’s family, but not the specific species, which we fortunately found on the tree’s label.

Dunstan Chestnut tag

A chestnut! The native American chestnut trees were killed by a fungal blight waaaay back even before Ol’ Wally’s time, in the 1900s. This was a lot of trees, approximately every fourth tree in the hardwood forests died. Some pockets of trees survived because they weren’t within wind-blowing distance of the spores of the infected trees. It’s from these trees that scientists have tried to grow a disease-resistant Chestnut hybrid species.

The Dustan Chestnut is one of these trees, a species developed by tree breeder Dr. Robert T Dunstan.

It’s rather neat that he got buds from a huge chestnut living in the midst of dying chestnuts, grafted the twigs onto other rootstock and managed to grow a chestnut hybrid that will bear chestnuts! That’s the important part here! We squirrels might get to eat chestnuts in our diet again!

Dunstan Chestnut ree in a tube

The new Dustan Chestnuts aren’t nearly so big as the old American Chestnuts, only 25 feet tall to their 100 feet, but at least it’s a tree these suburban dwellers are willing to plant and grow in tight quarters. And we get chestnuts!

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4 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. Darn. I’m not sure. I thought of the locust tree but looked it up and was waaay off base. ~grin~ I look forward to the answer.

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