“But the ultimate goal is to re-establish the American chestnut across Eastern forests,” said Dr. Martin Cipolllini, a Berry College bioloy professor who leads Georgia’s efforts to develop blight-resistant chestnuts. His students raised the seedlings planted at Briarlake Forest.
More than a century ago, American chestnuts were common, the giants of the forests from Maine to Mississippi — growing more than 100 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet in diameter. Wildlife and humans alike savored their sweet nuts. But in 1904 a blight caused by an Asian fungus spread quickly. By 1950, it had killed more than 4 billion chestnuts.
Although blight-killed chestnuts still resprout in the wild, they rarely grow 15 to 20 feet tall before the blight also strikes them. More information: www.acf.org/ga.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be new on Sunday. Venus is low in the west just after dark and sets about two hours later. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are low in the east about two hours before dawn.