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For around 40 million years the American Chestnut Tree (Castanea dentata) dominated the forests of eastern America in its billions, often growing to heights of over 100 feet and with trunks over 10 feet in diameter, yet sadly there are said to only be around 100 trees left. That’s why SurfaTech Corporation, one of our principals, is making it its mission to help save this mighty tree from complete extinction.
American Chestnut Trees were not only a monumental and magnificent sight, they played a huge ecological role and proved extremely useful for both animals and humans – providing a source of wood, shelter and food. Its wood was resistant to rot and was a popular choice for all sorts of construction yet, due to the tree’s demise, new chestnut wood hasn’t been sold in America for many years.
Why Is The American Chestnut Tree On The Verge Of Extinction?
The American Chestnut Tree once grew larger, faster and taller than nearly any other tree in eastern America. Its demise began around 1900 when the deadly disease chestnut blight rippled through eastern forests, wiping out nearly all American Chestnut Trees in less than 40 years. The disease kills the parts of the tree that are above ground – it doesn’t have the capability to kill the roots so although they do survive, their roots end up storing the disease which of course means that any new shoots are inevitably contaminated.
In addition to the above, saving the American Chestnut Tree also has huge environmental benefits – trees absorb carbon emissions and help to slow down the effects of climate change, and they can also help reduce the force of extreme weather. Many organisations have shown their commitment to helping save the American Chestnut Tree, and the American Chestnut Foundation has been working on developing an American Chestnut Tree that’s resistant to blight.
How Is SurfaTech Helping To Save The Tree?
SurfaTech has been working hard to help save the tree for nearly 15 years and has planted over 200 trees to date! The corporation’s efforts began in 2008 by purchasing two trees which were planted in Dacula in Georgia (an area in which the tree used to dominate) and the nuts were harvested. The company has had extremely positive and encouraging results, continuing to analyse and perfect the growing process and expand its locations to other areas along the east coast. Its first year yielded 10 trees compared to over 80 in 2020! SurfaTech is confident about this growth, predicting that these trees should continue to produce the same level of fertile nuts for many years to come.
Last year SurfaTech’s efforts went even further – planting 50 American Chestnut Tree saplings at a forest preserve in Sandy Springs in Georgia. This exciting scheme was SurfaTech’s largest single planting and its first ever urban-preserve planting!
For more information about our principal’s inspiring efforts to save the American Chestnut Tree, visit SurfaTech’s website.