Community//

The Chestnut Tree: Bringing Back an American Icon

A SUNY research scientist is engineering a brand new "blight resistant" American chestnut tree after tens of millions were wiped out because of a fungus brought to the US from Asia in the early 1900's.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Tens of millions of American Chestnut trees were wiped out during the 20th Century. Some call it the “worst environmental disaster to strike the United States – ever.” How did that happen? An Asian Chestnut tree was imported to the US in the early 1900’s and with it carried a fungus that decimated the American version which had no tolerance. Nothing could save the American Chestnut tree.
In fact, the Chestnut Tree was a critical part of American life for the early settlers. Trade and commerce were an integral part of an ecosystem dependent on the American Chestnut Tree – from cradle to grave. As the tree died, so too, did a way of life that never recovered.


Scientists, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, are  now working on a brand new solution — a genetically engineered blight resistant tree. If the science works (and researchers are very hopeful), and the US Government approves, the Chestnut Tree will be slowly re-introduced into forests along the Eastern seaboard — making it the first functionally extinct species — ever — to be resuscitated on planet Earth!


By Richard Sergay

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Merry Exhalation

by Mary Bell
Community//

By The Grace of Trees

by Priscilla Hart
Community//

The “Lungs of the Earth” – Can We Save Trees So They Can Save Us?

by Priscilla Hart

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.