Saturday, September 26, 2009

Investigating Our Natural Surroundings

Could this be an American Chestnut tree ?

Although all of the books say that the American Chestnut was all but exterminated by a blight in the early 1900s, this particular tree, which is most definitely a Chestnut of some kind, does not meet the criteria for being the more commonly found Allegheny Chestnut. The one main trait that sets the Allegheny apart from the American is that the Allegheny has one single nut inside the spiny seed pod -- and the American has 3 separate nuts inside it's seed pod. We have heard there are other non-native varieties (hybrids ?) of Chestnut trees which have been planted in recent years, and still can be found, however, they are not in our Tree book. We will need to do more research before we can make a positive identification of this tree.

In the mean while, this particular Chestnut tree is full of seed pods. (pictured above) And when you are determined and brave enough to crack open the still-green seed pods (and have stemmed the bleeding from the scratches and puncture wounds - ha !), the "nut" inside is actually 3 separate distinct nuts -- 2 smaller and one larger. Very curious, isn't it ?!?!

So, we are going to continue to investigate. For now, we only know that this is a Chestnut tree.

Stay tuned for a better identification.

UPDATE: We have it on good authority from a member of the local Forest Service that this tree is indeed an American Chestnut. They do still grow here ! However, since the blight some years ago, the American Chestnut tree does not grow very large, succumbing to the blight within 5 or so years.

There are many Oak trees here (12+), under which the ground is covered in acorns. And Pecan trees are plentiful at this house, with not less than 6 trees of various ages on the property. (Pictured above are some acorn shell fragments and an unripened pecan).

The Oaks, Pecans, and the Chestnut are all are heavily laden with nuts. It's a "good" nut year ! Yet, the squirrels still find it necessary to fight over the nuts. More than plenty for all, yet they bicker, chase, stalk, and assault one another from sunrise to sunset. It makes for very amusing "watching" at least. And it is a constant reminder for the Cherubs that they should not be selfish.
The leaves are starting to change -- tinges of color here and there.
Rough Stemmed Golden Rod
Solidago rugosa


Kimi said...

Chestnuts! Wow! Our hill was once covered in chestnut trees. We're working on an acorn recipe. It it works, we'll share it with you.

dad to five girls said...

Ps 57:5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
I 'stumbled' across your blogs this past summer when looking for Simplicity lawn mower parts and have enjoyed seeing what our God have done in the life of your family. May your new house be a blessing to you and to others as you have the opportunity to pass on God's blessing to others. Mr. Mayo in PA.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Squirrels make us laugh too at all their antics.

I would love to see your chestnut tree. :)

Thanks for sharing your nature study and your trees.