WCA Supporting the Efforts of The American Chestnut Foundation
American chestnut trees to put down roots in Waterford
The Waterford Foundation and Waterford Citizen's Association have joined forces to support the efforts of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to bring the American chestnut tree back to the east coast and, specifically, to our community.
The American chestnut tree once was abundant in forests from Maine to Florida and from the Piedmont to the Ohio Valley. Chestnuts were not only a reliable source of food for wildlife, but early rural communities relied upon the annual nut harvest for livestock feed. The chestnut lumber industry was a major economic engine of rural economies; the wood is straight-grained and easily worked, lightweight and highly rot-resistant, making it ideal for fence posts, railroad ties, barn beams and home construction, as well as for fine furniture and musical instruments.
But with the importation of Chinese chestnut trees in the late 1800s came a blight that over the next century wiped out four billion trees.
TACF was founded 30 years ago to restore these magnificent trees to our woodlands by developing blight-resistant trees, with plant breeding research and selection at its Meadowview, Virginia, farm.
The Waterford Citizens' Association and the Waterford Foundation have been working with TACF since last year to bring the American chestnut tree back, and soon two "groves" of four trees each will be planted on Foundation properties. The citizens' association raised the funds to purchase the trees and together the two organizations will provide care and maintenance after the planting is complete.