Farmers were implored to chop down trees with any signs of blight. Generally speaking, if your wood is old-growth timber unavailable on the new wood market, you possess something of value. I just got around to planing a piece of the Antique Wormy Chestnut and was pleasantly surprised with the beauty and character of the wood. Despite the wormy holes, the excellent quality and longevity of the chestnut wood make it ideal for making furniture, fences, poles, flooring, home construction and a host of other things. The loss was stunning, both financially and emotionally. “I bought some Chestnut from you this past summer to use in building blanket chests for my daughters. Much of the wormy chestnut wood that is available now comes from the existing dead wood of these blight affected trees. Others are infecting trees with other viruses to kill the blight. And given the starring role the nuts played in American cuisine until the trees died, they tasted pretty good too. It was an absolute tragedy that the fungal blight killed off most of the American chestnut trees. Finding a mature American chestnut in the wild is so rare today that discoveries are reported in the national press. The reason the old wood is found to still be in usable condition is explained by the presence of tannin in the wormy chestnut wood; the tannin gives the wood a natural resistance to decay. Those still provide reclaimed wormy chestnut wood. Just call us at 304 445 2300 or email with your specs. The blight that killed them off still lives in the wild and they rarely grow big enough to flower and seed, typically remaining saplings until they die. Panic over the blight was widespread by the 1910s. State commissions were formed. @pastanaga - There are still American chestnuts around, but very few and none of them are as large as the giants of the past. Until they weren’t. Since new wood from American chestnut trees is no longer procurable for lumber, the chestnut wood in stock has gone up in value. Though the trees are long gone from the forest canopies of the east coast, efforts to find a cure for the blight continue. Finding a mature American chestnut in the wild is so rare today that discoveries are reported in the national press. “Woodman, burn that tree; spare not a single bough,” begged The Citizen, a paper from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, the heart of the chestnut tree’s range. American chestnut and longleaf pine are more valuable … Until they weren’t. In addition to the lumber and flooring listed here, we have Chestnut … Some of my friends were interested in it, as they lived outside the main area of the blight and knew of a couple of chestnut trees around. African Black Ebony is the most valuable wood in the world. How Do I Choose the Best Chestnut Furniture? While chestnut wood is incredibly resilient and would ordinarily be a great choice for outdoor furniture, it’s so rare and valuable now that the last thing anyone would want to do is put a piece in jeopardy by exposing it to the elements. It is a sought after wood, but 25 boards is not much. More About Chestnut. American chestnut … The century-long drive to save the chestnut tree isn’t just about nostalgia or a funny manifestation of American exceptionalism. Not the same wood that the old stuff was made from. The trees are “technically extinct,” according to The American Chestnut Foundation. The problem was a fungus imported from Asia that spread easily, attaching to animal fur and bird feathers. Chestnut Lumber Prices per Board Foot as of Nov 24, 2020: Description 100-249 B.F. 250-499 B.F. 500-999 B.F. 1000+ B.F. A large, old growth tree could be worth a million dollars, but the last of these was probably cut down more than 50 years ago. As shown here, Chestnut is a beautiful wood. The trees make appearances throughout American literature, like in Thoreau’s journal, where he considered his guilt over pelting them with rocks to shake the nuts loose while he lived in Walden woods, musing that the “old trees are our parents, and our parents’ parents, perchance.” Chestnut trees offered shade in town squares, were the wood of choice for pioneers’ log cabins, and were a mainstay of American woodcraft. The wood from these other chestnuts, except for sweet chestnut, is lower in density, with coarser grain and lower strength, and is without much natural decay resistance. The fungus infected trees through injuries to the bark as small as those created by insects. Still more are taking a cutting edge approach and sequencing the DNA of the American chestnut and the fungus that causes blight, in part to guarantee that any trees reintroduced into the wild are truly blight resistant. What Are the Advantages of Chestnut Wood Flooring? It's difficult, though, because even though they grow quite fast, it still takes a while to grow a tree to maturity so it can be pollinated and provide seed. Building with horse chestnut lumber isn’t common because it is a weaker wood … But, there are groups of people who are trying to breed blight resistant strains of the chestnut. Chestnut does not like to rot and bugs don't like it … Essentially, the giant trees were reduced to shrubs by the 1950s. The natural rustic look of the wormy chestnut wood can be quite attractive and is much prized by homeowners as well as antique collectors. they are pulling trees out of the forest that fell 80 years ago and making lumber out of them. The traumatic loss of the chestnut tree finally spurred federal laws to protect native plants from diseases they can’t resist. In the 1920s, however, most of the chestnut trees on the American continent were killed off by a fungal blight, and the very few American chestnuts that still remain are now protected from logging. The American chestnut is distinct from other varieties for both its size and how quickly it grows, which is why it was historically such a valued source of wood. These trees used to be absolutely massive. In short, chestnuts were part of everyday American life. Look below for pictures of this magnificent tree. The chestnut wood is hard, very finely grained and quite easy to saw, and, in addition, the American chestnut grows very fast and matures sooner than the oak. It just makes me sad that something so beautiful was destroyed by carelessness and ignorance. Until they weren’t. One day, though, people may be able to use freshly grown chestnut hardwood without pulling it up from a reclaimed barn or something. Calculating The Value Of A Woodlot. These huge and ancient trees, up to 100 feet tall and 9 feet around, were awe-inspiring, the redwoods of the east coast, but with an extra perk — the nuts were edible. Calculating the value of trees growing in a wood lot is fairly straightforward. The leaves of the trees were boiled down into medicinal treatments by Native Americans. It will not command a premium price. The cause of the damage is the chestnut timber borer beetle, which lays its eggs in the bark of the chestnut tree. Wormy Chestnut in particular is usually salvaged from old barns and other structures, and reprocessed and sold as reclaimed lumber. In short, chestnuts were part of everyday American life. If they are fuzzy or hairy on the underside, it is chinese chestnut. Known botanically as Castanea dentata, the American chestnut is a deciduous and fast-growing tree of quite impressive proportions; some of these trees have been reported to attain heights of 150 feet (45.72 m), with diameters of 10 feet (3.048 m) and spreads of 100 feet (30.48 m). The end of the trees marked the end of a “conspicuous and beautiful feature of the landscape in this country,” and the Daily Tribune predicted with incredulity that “schoolboys of the future who read the poem of the village blacksmith will ask, What is a chestnut tree?” (the allusion was to the first line of a Longfellow poem). To be honest, I thought it had killed off all of them. “Efforts to stop the spread of this bark disease have been given up,” The Bismarck Daily Tribune resignedly reported in 1920. Look at the leaves. Even the Boy Scouts pitched in to try and save the chestnuts, scouring forests for blighted trees as part of a multi-state effort to create an infection-free zone. 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