It’s always a good day when I find an American chestnut tree. It’s an even better day when I find an American chestnut tree of a decent size.
Admittedly, I mostly feel this way because American chestnut (Castanea dentata) isn’t an incredibly common species where I live.
A fungal disease known as chestnut blight kills most American chestnuts. The fungus cuts off the flow of water and nutrients within trees. Starved of nutrients, the trunks of American chestnuts die.
But the roots remain alive. They give rise to sprouts which eventually become new trunks. Sometimes these trunks live for many years, and sometimes I find them in the woods.
Such was the case a few days ago when I encountered a living American chestnut by chance. More than just a stump sprout, this particular American chestnut was a decent-sized tree.
Needless to say, I was excited. I promptly decided to capture the experience on film to show you what an American chestnut looks like in the autumn season.