This post has sort of morphed into a memory from New York in May. Based on my wonderful day with Robert, chasing big trees, I used that information for one of my monthly newspaper columns. Since then I've heard from 14 people who have 27 trees, of 11 different species that they want me to come look at. Some of them are clearly not champions, but it's amazing how proud people seem to be of their trees.
Robert said, "People love trees."
You might recall that one of the trees we looked for, and couldn't find, was an American chestnut, Castanea dentata. Three people have told me about chestnuts in Mason County. Those will be interesting to track down.
So, that made me remember that Marie and I saw a chestnut that had actually fruited, on our hike in New York last May. Very few of the ones that have regrown (since the blight wiped them out in the first half of the 20th century) actually fruit.
So, I bring you an American chestnut. The bark breaks into these flat, strap-like ridges when the tree gets about 6 inches in diameter.
It was too early to see the mature leaves, but this shows how they emerge from the buds.
And here's the proof- the spiky seed pods on the ground. The nuts are inside.
Who knows, when I get a chance to go hunt trees again, maybe there really will be a chestnut.
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