Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkhausen

Locations ofCastanea dentata (Marshall) Borkhausen in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkhausen
Common Name
American Chestnut
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.
The chestnut blight fungus (introduced in 1904 in NY) arrived in Virginia around 1910 and, over the next two to three decades, decimated populations of this species. Before the blight, the American Chestnut was abundant in a wide range of Appalachian forests, constituting 20 to 25% of the forest cover. Because the fungus does not kill the roots, sprouts that commonly grow to saping and pole-size trees continue to persist widely on the drier ridges. However, chestnut has not persisted in more mesic habitats because of heavy shading and competition.
Dry and dry-mesic upland forests and woodlands, most common on dry, rocky ridges with oaks and pines; absent (or nearly so) from highly calcareous (e.g., limestone) areas. Common (as small sprouts) in the mountains and inner Piedmont; infrequent and more local in the outer Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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