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Chestnut trees to spread across landscape again, says Purdue scientist

tance of the Asian chestnut but have the growth characteristics of the American chestnut, he said.

American chestnut formerly played a vital role in the eastern forests of the United States, where it made up nearly one out of every four trees, Jacobs said.

"Chestnut is a wonderful wildlife tree," he said. "It is unusual among forest trees in that it can be counted on to produce a good seed crop every single year - chestnuts were a valuable resource to many species of mammals and birds."

It also was a highly prized timber tree, he said.

"Chestnut is an extremely rot-resistant wood," Jacobs said. "Its rot-resistance, coupled with its fast growth rate and its straight form, make it an ideal tree for utility poles and mid-grade furniture production."

Jacobs said he expects to see blight-resistant American chestnut become widely available in another 10 years and suggests that the majority of plantings be done in the Midwest, where there is an abundance of abandoned farmland.


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Contact: Jennifer Cutraro
jcutraro@purdue.edu
765-496-2050
Purdue University
31-Mar-2004


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