TN Chapter members Vicki Turner, Jack Torkelson, and Joe Schibig met up with Mark Vance in Cannon County, TN on Dec. 4 to see a newly discovered large surviving American (LSA) chestnut tree. The weather was great, and Mark took the group, which also included Joe Bryson with the TN Division of Forestry, to a healthy American chestnut, which was perched on a steep upper west-facing slope surrounded by fairly large trees. There were lots of huge sassafras trees close to it as well as big sourwood, tulip poplar, hickories and oaks. The tree was approximately 9-10 inches dbh and about 40 feet tall. It appeared to be relatively healthy, but there was a swollen canker at its base. TN Chapter President Joe Schibig thought that it would be a good idea to mound some local soil (mud pack) around its base to inhibit the growth of Cryphonectria. Joe also felt that it should be fairly easy to obtain male flowers from this tree next June and that the flowers will be within reach of a Jack’s long pole pruner and ladder.
Everyone was delighted by the discovery of this relativiely large and healthy American chestnut tree. Mark Vance discovered the tree by perusing the area after he spotted a dead chestnut leaf on the ground. After finding hundreds of American chestnut sprouts in Mammoth Cave National Park a few years ago, he developed a keen eye for spotting chestnut trees.