10 Kinds Of Wild Animals In New York City Historical Mechanisms Promoting Chestnut Survival Through Hybridization

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Historical Mechanisms Promoting Chestnut Survival Through Hybridization

Historically, chestnuts have throughout the ages provided food and wood products in both European and Oriental cultures. Blood vessels have saved some civilizations from extinction during famines, wars, and natural disasters. Native American chestnuts offered much promise and comfort to early adopters, but during a blight introduced by the importation of nursery stock from Asia, American chestnut trees nearly disappeared. Some chestnut tree colonies survive in isolated areas and due to plant breeding improvements, chestnut trees are being regenerated throughout the country. The original stands of American chestnuts are much better than all other types in the world with respect to the sweet taste and the large sizes of wood produced. Foreign varieties of chestnuts such as Kannada, Japanese, and European have been used to implant vaccine capabilities back into the historical genetic code contained in the sweet kernel of the American chestnut.

An early reference to American chestnuts, ‘Castanea dentata,’ is given in John and William Bartram’s seed and tree nursery catalog, the first American nursery catalog published in Philadelphia, PA in 1783. The Bartram family, famous American explorers and philosophers, were close friends of Benjamin Franklin and US Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Bartrams supplied American chestnut trees to the gardens at Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the personal gardens of George Washington at Mount Vernon and to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Va. President Jefferson was an avid plant collector and spent countless hours searching for profitable horticultural plants. Good luck for American farmers. President Jefferson tried and succeeded in intercrossing and combining different combinations of Spanish or European species of chestnuts, ‘Castanea sativa.’ He also made crosses on chestnuts that produced hybrid crosses of the European chestnut, ‘Castanea sativa’ and the American chestnut, ‘Castanea dentata.’

Thomas Jefferson is recorded to have planted European chestnuts on American rootstock, however, it is unclear why he did this, since American chestnuts are attractive and taste better than European chestnuts.

In his book, Travels, William Bartram does not mention any meeting or observation of the American chestnut ‘Castanea dentata,’ despite his extensive research of the Southeastern USA, where the trees grow in large numbers in their native habitat. The mystery created by Bartram omitting references to a very important population of American forests is an argument that can never be answered. Bartram’s famous Philadelphia maps, Pa. The arboretum and garden are still actively used today as a tourist attraction notes the presence of chestnut goliaths at the border of the garden.

The legendary fruits harvested from the American chestnut have a superior taste and production capacity over the European chestnut. These fruits are collected and stored in the shade and cool of the fall, so that the starchy kernel can develop its sweetness. The fruits can be shelled and eaten fresh, or they can be roasted over a hot fire to improve the flavor. A common sight on the streets of New York City or Philadelphia are vendors with mobile ovens roasting fresh nuts in cast iron pieces to sell to pedestrians. The heavy crops of fruits in native forests provide enough food for not only the human population, but also for animals such as bears, deer, squirrels, turkeys, and homing pigeons. destroy it now.

Chestnuts, due to their 42% starch content, can be ground into powdered flour without damage for extended periods and baked into sweet, nutritious breads. In Korea chestnuts are used in the diet much like potatoes are used in Western countries.

American chestnut trees are among the largest trees found in the Eastern US, sometimes measuring 17 feet in diameter, large enough to drive a truck or truck through. These fruit trees are found growing from Maine to Florida and from the eastern seaboard to the central United States. Some scattered trees of chestnut trees can be found in the West Coast. The size and grace of this beautiful wood is very popular in estates. The long white catkin flowers of the chestnut are developed into a valuable food crop for the U.S. High, the trunk of the tree is ideal for many uses, because it is easy to split along the grain for wood and split rail fences. The dense wood is strong and very resistant to decay, making it perfect for telephone poles, fences, and other building materials.

The great gift to the New World of the American chestnut that provided food, shelter, shade, and wood materials, was completely destroyed when the trees fell to a fungus infection, ‘Cryphonectria parasitica,’ in 1904. Many years ago. , a USDA plant researcher, Frank Meyer, noted a fungal disease, later known as chestnut blight, had entered US ports in 1876 from China and Japan on nursery stock imported from those countries. . Luther Burbank, perhaps the world’s greatest plant breeder, reported importing a number of chestnuts from China and Japan in 1884. The USDA official went before Congress in 1912 after blight had decimated America’s chestnut trees. he grew up in the Bronx Zoo, and was given to me personally. credit for his efforts to stop more invasive diseases and pests from being imported into the US by passing Congress’s Plant Quarantine Act.

Following the example of President Thomas Jefferson in crossing different types of chestnuts to obtain hybrids with strength and offspring that can have, among the genetic material of the tree, built resistance to disease, the USDA began hybridizing American chestnuts , Castanea dentata. ,’ the Chinese chestnut, ‘Castanea’ mollissima,’ and the Japanese chestnuts, ‘Castanea crenata.’ Thousands of chestnut hybrids are collected, however, American and Kannada are the most promising, while Japanese chestnuts are excluded. European varieties of chestnut trees are also excluded, because they are also attacked to a lesser extent by chestnut blight.

Since the hybrid seed of the past chestnut trees is very variable and with such unpredictable germination results there is no, the seed of the selected hybrid tree does not show a very promising result towards the establishment of orchards -a profitable commercial chestnut orchard. Chestnut, an excellent hybrid choice, was met with great difficulty, so the USDA was unfortunately forced to abandon its efforts on chestnuts in 1960.

It should be mentioned that the chestnut blight does not affect the roots of the trees and therefore the shoots rise from the damaged stumps produce a few scattered fruits that can be used to continue research in obtaining immunity in the American chestnut hybrid. . Castanea dentata.’ Chestnut blight affects only China chestnut trees, ‘Castanea sativa,’ in a minimal way. It is important to note that this immunity quality can be transmitted in the American chestnut hybrid even when the presence of the Chinese chestnut immunity factor is one-sixteenth of the final genetic composition of the hybrids that can be obtained from the cross of C. dentata and C .mollissima.

Luther Burbank reported intercrossing chestnuts from a resulting gene pool that involved crossing Kannada, Japanese, European (Italian), and American chestnuts to include chinquapin trees. In this genetic combination, he managed to develop a dwarf chestnut 1 ½ ft tall that produces fruits from seed after six months from planting. He also manages to produce nutnut seeds from trees that are forever bearing chestnuts and flowers that are produced month after month regularly. The fruits are a mammoth size of two inches in diameter, each weighing a pound or more in clusters of 6 to 9 fruits per burr. In the natural state, the spiny burrs act as armor that protects the fruit from squirrels and birds.

More recent observations by the Italian scientist Antonio Biraghi have shown that some remnants of European chestnuts, C. sativa, are believed to have a form of chestnut blight that is genetically vulnerable to the virus. internal to the extent of the effect, called ‘hypovirulence,’ appears to indicate that the virus affecting the chestnut trees has a degree of immunity to the deadly fungal disease. These clones are believed by many plant scientists to have the potential to feed the new vaccine into the new C. dentata hybrid crosses with C. sativa and back crosses on the parental genotypes and are being evaluated.

Many chestnut trees are offered through mail-order and internet companies today, offering a promising and productive future for commercial chestnut orchards. Some of these awards are available through the valuable expertise and efforts of the US Department of Agriculture and its research facilities.

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