Green Drinks series to highlight chestnut restoration

A talk called “Forest Majesty: Bringing back the American chestnut tree” will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Posana Restaurant in downtown Asheville as part of the Green Drinks series, a monthly get together to discuss environmental issues.

The speaker is Sarah Spooner of The American Chestnut Foundation, a national organization headquartered in Asheville that’s dedicated to restoring this missing tree back to the ecosystem.

Chestnut blight in the early 20th century and the resulting disappearance of the tree was a huge blow to the Southern Appalachian forest ecosystem. The disappearance also had huge cultural and economic effects. Now, after more than 25 years of scientific research, The American Chestnut Foundation has begun test planting trees that are almost genetically identical to the former American chestnut, but which carry the genes that provide resistance to the chestnut blight.

The return of the chestnut tree would have a huge positive impact on the mountain forest and all of its inhabitants. The technical scientific work of reintroducing this tree is still in the testing stages and reintroduction will require a massive effort.

Socializing starts at 6:30 p.m. or 828.713.9547.

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