Synopsis

Majestic American chestnut trees were once a foundation species—abundant and influential—in the eastern woodlands of North America. But in the early 1900’s, a lethal fungus called chestnut blight decimated this ecologically and economically important tree in its native range. In 1983, a group of scientists organized the American Chestnut Foundation with a plan to restore the American chestnut to its native range by breeding it with blight-resistant chestnut species. After decades of work, hybrid seedlings will finally be planted in national forest land in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina—the first test of their mettle outside the foundation’s research farms in Meadowview, Virginia.