Tree seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow in Cashiers this week may signal a new chapter for the American Chestnut in the area and its fight against blight.
The chestnut seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow are part of a unique breeding program headed by The American Chestnut Foundation to restore the American chestnut to the eastern forests of America.
At one time, the trees stood up to 100 feet tall and numbered in the billions in the Southeast, until an Asian fungus, known as chestnut blight, wiped out about four billion trees by the 1950s. Now, assisted by nearly 6,000 members, volunteers, and partners, the TACF is planting potentially blight-resistant trees in select locations.
Helping with the recent planting were students from Summit Charter School and Blue Ridge school, along with representatives of the Village Conservancy. The Village Conservancy is working to protect McKinney Meadow and preserve the entry to the historic N.C. 107 corridor of Cashiers.