The American chestnut was once a common and abundant tree species that occupied 200 million acres in the eastern hardwood forests of North America. The species had a cultural significance and was a keystone species, providing wildlife with food and habitat sources. Two non-native pathogens led to the chestnut’s extirpation in the 20th century, but efforts are underway to conserve and restore this iconic tree.

Part 1 of this two-part video program focuses on the historical significance of the American chestnut, its dominance in eastern U.S. forests and its quick and fatal decline to chestnut blight disease.

Part 2 focuses on collaborative research activities to develop a disease-resistant version of the American chestnut.