What is the current status of the blight resistant American chestnut trees?
The blight resistant American chestnut trees are currently two years old and have survived their first growing season after being planted in the forest. They are approximately four feet tall, with an average growth of 10-12 inches per year for the species. Two of the blight resistant trees flowered in this first year in the wild, a significant measurement of advanced maturity. They were examined in September 2009 and the survival rate is above 90 percent. The trees appear healthy overall, and are expected to be very competitive with natural tree vegetation in the forest. Deer browsing was affecting growth on some of the trees, so deer repellent was applied to trees to dissuade deer from eating the leaves and stems. Q: How are test plots chosen? A: The selection process includes looking at a variety of site conditions that are similar to the original range and habitat requirements of the American chestnut. All test plots are within national forests in the eastern part of the U.S., the o