Mariton: Chestnut Walk

September 11, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

This Saturday, Mariton will host a Chestnut Walk, from 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Mike and Kieu Manes will lead the walk and show us the chestnut trees that they have located at Mariton.  Some of the trees are Chinese Chestnuts, or hybrids with American Chestnuts that were planted by the Guerreros during the 50’s or 60’s.  However, there are several American Chestnuts (Castanea dentata) that resprout from ancient trunks.  We also have 5 blight-resistant American Chestnuts planted by Boy Scout, Frido Buschmann, as his Eagle Scout Project. 

The American Chestnut is a tree deeply seated in the history of the eastern United States.  In the early 1900’s, a blight (fungal disease) was introduced to North American that pretty much wiped out the species within forty years.  The trees at Mariton persist and continue to send up saplings from the stumps, but eventually, they too succumb to the blight and die, only to be replaced by new shoots.