It was recorded in the 1900s that the chestnut blight would commonly reinfect any novel stems that grew from the stumps of the American Chestnut tree and therefore maintained a cycle that would prevent the American Chestnut tree from re-establishing.  The enzyme oxalate oxidase is an extremely common fungal defense in plants, and is found in strawberries, bananas, oats, barley, and other cereals. However, the stump sprouts rarely reach more than 6 m (20 ft) in height before blight infection returns, which therefore, is classified as functionally extinct since the Chestnut Blight only actively kills the above ground portion of the American Chestnut tree, leaving behind the below ground components such as the root systems. American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation (ACCF) is not using crosses with Asian species for blight resistance, but intercrossing among American chestnuts selected for native resistance to the blight, a breeding strategy described by the ACCF as "All-American intercrosses". Griffin, G.J., J.R. Elkins, D. McCurdy, and S. L. Griffin. The chestnuts are in the beech family along with beech and oak, but are not closely related to the horse-chestnut, which is in the family Sapindaceae. Fish and Wildlife Servies Endangered Species", "American chestnut rescue will succeed, but slower than expected | Penn State University", "Testing Blight Resistance in American Chestnuts", "Genetic Variation and Population Structure of Castanea pumila var. It was some hundred years ago that these chestnut trees dominated the forested hills and mountains. Resistant chestnuts make slow-growing, swollen cankers that are superficial: live tissue can be recovered under these cankers. The chestnut crop of the early American Chestnut Tree almost disappeared from the earth a century ago from a blight. Large leaves turn yellow and brown in autumn. Horse chestnut leaves are much larger than buckeyes or American chestnuts. Chestnut blight was first noticed on American chestnut trees in what was then the New York Zoological Park, now known as the Bronx Zoo, in the borough of The Bronx, New York City, in 1904, by chief forester Hermann Merkel. It is a mature American chestnut that has recovered from severe infections of chestnut blight. In Kentucky, these are the American chestnut (Castanea dentata), the Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima), and the occasional Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata). This tree contains enough Chinese chestnut DNA that encodes for systemic resistance genes to resist the blight. The American chestnut has long canoe shaped leaves with a prominent lance shaped tip, with a coarse, forward hooked teeth at the edge of the leaf. Leaves hairy on the lower surface . For example, it has larger and more widely spaced saw-teeth on the edges of its leaves, as indicated by the scientific name dentata, Latin for "toothed". American has longer, more arching teeth. The nuts can be confused with American chestnuts, since they have the same shiny rich brown appearance, but THEY ARE NOT EDIBLE. Oxalate oxidase breaks down the oxalic acid which the fungus secretes in the cambium to lower the pH and subsequently kill plant tissues. Chinese chestnut trees grow leaves with fine, fuzzy hairs on the lower surface. ", "Restoration of American Chestnut to Forest Lands: Proceedings of a Conference and Workshop Held May 4-6, 2004 at The North Carolina Arboretum. By the 1940s, the pathogen had marched through the native range of the American chestnut where it killed trees from the stump up. This means they return more nutrients to the soil which helps with the growth of other plants, animals, and microorganisms. This fungus was unintentionally introduced from Asia around 1904, and was first detected killing chestnut trees in the Bronx Zoo in New York City. Each tooth ends in a bristle tip. The tree is often found planted in towns. ", "American Chestnut Cooperators’ Foundation 2015 Newsletter: Grower Reports. Salvage logging during the early years of the blight may have unwittingly destroyed trees which had high levels of resistance to this disease and thus aggravated the calamity. Nine of the trees showed resistance equal to their parents, and four of these had resistance comparable to hybrids in the same test. A solitary tree exists in the New York County of Orange, within the Town of Wawayanda. The other native trees that bloom late in the year around the same time as American chestnuts are Black Locust and Sourwood. Most of established Chestnuts are Chinese, and they have a very distinctive apple tree shape, rounded with multi-stemmed trunk (see next column). 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