Download American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect by Susan Freinkel PDF

Download American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect by Susan Freinkel PDF

By Susan Freinkel

The yankee chestnut was once one in every of America's most typical, valued, and loved trees--a ''perfect tree'' that governed the forests from Georgia to Maine. yet within the early 20th century, an unique plague swept in the course of the chestnut forests with the strength of a wildfire. inside 40 years, the blight had killed with reference to 4 billion timber and left the species teetering close to extinction. It used to be one of many worst ecological blows to North the United States because the Ice Age--and one most mavens thought of past fix. In American Chestnut, Susan Freinkel tells the dramatic tale of the obdurate optimists who refused to permit this cultural icon pass. In a compelling weave of historical past, technological know-how, and private statement, she relates their quest to avoid wasting the tree via tools that ranged from classical plant breeding to state-of-the-art gene know-how. however the center of her tale is the forged of unconventional characters who've fought for the tree for a century, undeterred via setbacks or skeptics, and fueled via their desires of restored forests and their strong affinity for a fellow species.

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Extra resources for American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree

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Over a single weekend in October 1915, about thirty wagonloads of chestnuts were brought to the Stuart depot from Meadows of Dan. The trade was also a boon to Stuart’s railway stationmaster, who oversaw the shipment of nuts to urban markets. During chestnut harvest, “you could hardly Wnd a place to put the bags of chestnuts down, because everyone was a chestnut dealer, just about,” recalled the son of the man who ran the station at the turn of the century. By 1903, the Dick and Willie had been upgraded to standard gauge and the train was moving thousands of pounds of chestnuts every day during the season.

Though Metcalf eventually came to agree with Murrill that individual trees were beyond rescue, he was still hopeful that the epidemic could be staunched before it reached the valuable chestnut stands of Appalachia. He, like other federal scientists, thought the answer was a quarantine. The use of quarantines had helped wrestle such agricultural pests as pear blight and peach yellows to the ground, as well as human scourges from the Black Death to yellow fever. C. Scouts from his lab scoured the woods within a thirty-Wve-mile radius for signs of infected trees.

Though Metcalf eventually came to agree with Murrill that individual trees were beyond rescue, he was still hopeful that the epidemic could be staunched before it reached the valuable chestnut stands of Appalachia. He, like other federal scientists, thought the answer was a quarantine. The use of quarantines had helped wrestle such agricultural pests as pear blight and peach yellows to the ground, as well as human scourges from the Black Death to yellow fever. C. Scouts from his lab scoured the woods within a thirty-Wve-mile radius for signs of infected trees.

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