Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

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Steve Galehouse
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Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by Steve Galehouse » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:31 pm

NTS-

Today I stopped at Sheldon Marsh in Erie County to try to find the big American chestnut mentioned by several articles and visited by Will Blozan in 2008. The location of the tree is not publicized, but I figured I could find it anyway. I started hiking through woods that would have a canopy height around the reported height of the chestnut, and within 30 minutes I found it---the forest floor was littered with lots of burrs, and the tree itself was still in full leaf unlike the nearby cottonwoods. I'm glad to say the tree looks vigorous and perfectly healthy, with no sign of cankers or lesions on the bark of the trunk, and no sprouts emerging from the crown of the trunk. There are still many burrs on the tree and the foliage is still fresh and green. The best height I could get was 88.46'(Will got 88' in 2008), but after the leaves fall I would think a top at 90'+ might be found. Some photos attached:
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Steve
every plant is native somewhere

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Will Blozan
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by Will Blozan » Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:37 pm

Steve,

Glad to see you found it and it is doing well. I recall a nested top that took several tries to isolate.

Will

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:34 pm

Wow! Nice to see a chestnut tree so big!

TN_Tree_Man
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by TN_Tree_Man » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:38 pm

Good find Steve. Why don't you gather some nuts and try to germinate?

Steve Springer
"One can always identify a dogwood tree by it's bark."

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Steve Galehouse
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by Steve Galehouse » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:13 pm

Steve-

I opened some of the fallen burrs but found no viable seeds inside. That might be why they were shed early. If able, I'll return in 2 or 3 weeks to see if the burrs remaining on the tree, which would likely be shed by then, contain any sound nuts. I looked for but found no other individuals of the species, so pollination for this large tree is likely a problem.

Steve
every plant is native somewhere

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James Parton
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by James Parton » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:29 pm

Absolutely awesome! An 88.5 ft American Chestnut is rarer than gold! And a healthy one at that. I would love to see it.
James E Parton
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Rand
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Re: Large American chestnut at Sheldon Marsh

Post by Rand » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:14 pm

Steve Galehouse wrote:Steve-

I opened some of the fallen burrs but found no viable seeds inside. That might be why they were shed early. If able, I'll return in 2 or 3 weeks to see if the burrs remaining on the tree, which would likely be shed by then, contain any sound nuts. I looked for but found no other individuals of the species, so pollination for this large tree is likely a problem.

Steve
I have some american chestnuts on my property and in my experience the nut season is extremely tight. They all come down inside of a week to maybe a week and a half, and the critters don't let them lie for long after that. Another 3 weeks will definitely be too long.

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