Here’s some good news


As a young Boy Scout working on my forestry merit badge I spent plenty of afternoons in the study of Mr. Quincy Baird Hershey Sr., a trapper, naturalist, and family friend.


I remember Mr Hershey telling me stories about his youth, and his reverance for the great and mighty giants of the forest. He spoke in hushed awe about the mighty American Chestnut and I swear he almost teared up when he told me about thier demise. Like a dark incantation, the word “blight” hung upon his lips almost as if he was straining to hold it back – as if he could reverse its devastating effects if he just knew the counter spell.

I remember struggling to understand such vast ecological ramifications, and looking suspiciously at the traitorous Chinese Chestnut in my backyard.

Although Mr. Hershey has long since returned to the soil, it looks like his hopes weren’t in vain. I was elated to read this good news my wife sent me this morning. 

Although I will be long in the ground before planks are milled from these trees, maybe a grand-daughter or grand-son of mine will have the chance to work this magnificent wood.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Larry says:

    You don’t have to lament not being able to work with chestnut, you know.
    The wood has been available all along. A friend of mine has made a pretty good living for 30 years dismantling old Barns in the mid Atlantic states and re- milling it for sale. It turn out that all those chestnut forest didn’t rot and were free for the taking in the 30’s.

    It’s not cheap, but every once in a while I get to work some. It brings a smile to your face. And just last week I ran across an old box that originally contained laboratory equipment. On a hunch, I bought the box and its contents for a coupe bucks at an antique mall. A little sanding and oiling revealed a box I can put in my living room. It turns out that before corrugated cardboard, chestnut was a favorite for packing boxes.


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