Excellent read...

The American Chestnut
The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a perfect Tree
Susan Freinkel

This is a book I've finished reading, it was fantastic!
  In my spare time,  when I have been able to eek out a few minutes here and there I have been researching Chestnuts, all the varieties, where they grow, how they grow, what climate, etc.. 

In my research I came across this book on American Chestnuts, which almost became extinct many years ago due to blight. 4 billion trees were lost which as I said almost totally wiped out our American Chestnut. The American Chestnut was huge to America in so many ways before the 20th century. I find it amazing that its history is not well known by everyone. Its truly an American icon in my way of thinking. That so little is said or known about this tree is amazing to me, as it was apparently to the author of this book,  who decided to put in writing the importance and amazing life and history of this tree.  The book covers so much, not just the illness that hit this tree,  but its role in every day life where it grew. It gave Food, timber, tannin, medicinal, livestock feed just to name some of its roles and she explores all over those in this book.
 It was dubbed the perfect tree and after reading this book I can certainly see why. What an amazing tree it was/is. The amount of effort that has/is going into saving this tree is unbelievable!

I have also been learning a lot about the Chinese, Japanese and European Chestnut trees. Sadly what infected our American chestnut, blight, was imported on the Chinese or Japanese trees or both. Way back when before they knew the dangers of importing plants here and there without quarantine or such, the disease was imported into America. For various reasons our Chestnut trees could not fight it off where the Chinese and Japanese ones had the ability. The Chinese has the best resistance. The European Chestnut trees became infected with the blight but for various reasons they were able to control the disease over there. 
You will have to read the book to get the whole story :O). 




7 comments:

LindaG said...

I saw the title of your post and immediately the song popped into my head "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...."

Thanks for the review of the book!

John Gray said...

I may give this one a go!!!!

Melodie said...

I know who to go to when I am ready to plant chestnut trees :)!

Terry said...

What a great cover!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I remember a huge chesnut tree by my grandparents. We used to gather the chesnuts each year in the fall. So sad that it (along with so many others) is now gone.

LBP said...

Such a sad tale of the American Chestnut. I have a clock that my husband made from some chestnut wood scavenged from my Grandparents farm. My uncle had a Chinese chestnut that grew in the back of his house and I loved going there and breaking open those prickly hulls and getting those chestnuts! YUM! (except when you would find the dreaded worm!)

Joy said...

Very interesting!