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Ghost chestnut forest Wisconsin
Until the early 20th century, the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was one of the dominant tree species in many Eastern US forests, accounting for as much as 30-40% of the tree cover in some forests. In 1904, however, a fungal blight was discovered on chestnuts in New York City. The fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, appears to have been brought into the US on Asian chestnut nursery stock. Although Asian chestnuts are largely immune to the fungus, the blight is almost invariably deadly to the American species. Within a few decades virtually all mature American chestnut trees were dead, although they keep sprouting from the root stocks. In the last years of the 19th century, shortly before the blight arrived, a farmer in West Salem, Wisconsin planted almost a dozen American chestnut trees on his property, outside the natural range of the American chestnut. Isolated from the blight, this small population flourished and by the late 20th century there were about 6,000 chestnut saplings and mature trees on the property. Unfortunately, by the time I visited the site in 2009, nearly all of the large chestnuts that I saw had contracted the blight and were dead. The large dead chestnut in this image has a diameter of at least 30in (over 70cm), and many stump sprouts can be seen growing around dead chestnut trees.
Copyright: Dan Perlman
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 6000x3000
Taken: 21/06/2010
Uploaded: 22/06/2010


Tags: american chestnut; castanea dentata; blight; west salem; wisconsin
More About USA

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.

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