I can’t remember the last time I had a chestnut. But I do recall that I liked them very much. As I did my research on chestnuts, I soon learned why this nut isn’t as common in our country today as it might have been. In the early 1900s, the American chestnut tree, which made up a large portion of the hardwood forests in the east, was hit with the blight. Over the decades, the blight wiped out our chestnut tree population. 

Scientists have been working with cross-breeding programs to infuse the American chestnut with a small portion of blight-resistance Chinese chestnut attributes. These new trees are being tried out and introduced into the forests. How they will fare, and whether they will have a sufficiently large canopy to compete with the current hardwood trees, remains to be seen.

Throughout the major forests, root stock of the original American chestnut trees still exists. The blight only affects the part of the plant above ground. Unfortunately, the trees sprout again and again, but to this day the blight kills off the new growth. Here’s a fascinating video on the history of the American chestnut tree and the blight that decimated the trees in the east.

FunFacts about Chestnuts (Source) (Source)

  • The chestnut tree is part of the beech family of Fagaceae.
  • Chestnut trees are native to the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The four main types of chestnut trees are: European, Japanese, Chinese and American.
  • The ‘horse chestnut’ tree is only distantly related to the chestnut tree. Horse chestnut seeds are toxic. (Source)
  • Flowers appear in late spring or early summer.
  • The fruit is spiny and contains from 1-7 nuts when mature depending on the species.
  • In the early 1900s, though the American chestnut accounted for up to one-fourth of the forest hardwoods, the blight began to decimate the tree population. (See the video for a fascinating look at this part of chestnut history.) More about the blight: go here.
  • Chestnut trees have reddish-brown or grey bark that is smooth when the trees are young. As the trees age, the bark becomes rough and furrowed. In certain species, the bark looks like a net made of ropes.
  • The wood of the chestnut tree is similar to oak. Before the blight, a fully mature American chestnut tree could provide enough lumber to build one barn and one house. These trees were huge.
  • In the wild, chestnut trees can live from 200 to 800 years.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Kim S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, November 30, 2017.

November Winners: Tamara, ELF, Grace W. and Catedid

October Winners: Bonnie C., Mary P., Marie S. and Karen M.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Kim S.!!!

November Winners: Tamara K., ELF, Grace W. and Catedid

October Winners: Bonnie C., Mary P., Marie S. and Karen M.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, November 30, 2017! On Friday, December 1st, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This week’s giveaway! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about chestnuts. Do you like to eat them? Have you ever grown a chestnut tree? Which photo did you like best! Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!