Don Hazel recently discovered a large surviving American (LSA) chestnut a few miles from Crossville, TN. This tree was over 50 ft. tall and had a dbh of ca 10 inches. It was growing at an elevation over 2000 ft in woods dominated by oak trees. Evidence in the tree canopy and on the ground suggested that it had produced lots of burs last year, but the seed were sterile due to lack of pollination. The tree has a blight canker at the base, but Don and his friends did a good job of mud packing it, so it will likely live at least through one more growing season. The chapter plans to get pollen from it in June if the blight has not severely girdled it by then.
Don is also a contributing writer for the Crossville Chronicle. He wrote a great article titled “Enjoying Nature: A Tale of Two Trees” that was featured in the paper on January 15. It tells the stories of two species – Eastern hemlock and American chestnut – and their battles with invasive, exotic organisms. Check it out.