Monday, July 1, 2013

More Chestnut Trees Found

[Update: I returned to the site and was saved having to wade into deep poison ivy by the neighbor, who took me to his yard to show me the two very old chestnut trees growing on his lawn.  Due to the trees' age, health, and smaller leaf size, I suspect they are European or Asian chestnuts.  But I sent off a twig sample to TACF to be sure.  Now, if only I could find the camera, I would post some photos of his magnificent chestnut trees.  The larger tree had a circumference at the ground of what must be eight to ten feet.  The easement chestnut trees are likely its offspring.]

Someday, when I am no longer so busy chasing small children, this blog will be updated again regularly.  But in the meantime, here is a special report for the folks at TACF.  While driving west on route 109 in Bellingham, MA, today, I spotted American chestnuts in bloom on a power easement.  (And it took all of my effort not to drive off of the road!)  The Chestnuts are on the south side of the road.  There is a convenient place to pull a car off of the road, but the trees themselves are beyond a bunch of dense meadow growth.  With two little kids and a strong sensitivity to poison ivy, I can't get any closer.  But here are the pictures I was able to take from the road.

I suppose there is a chance that these are not American chestnuts.  I'll try to get back out there with a telephoto lens to confirm.  I am afraid these are the best pictures I could get with my telephone.

This looks like the best way to get to the trees, unfortunately.  It's dense brush, including poison ivy.

These trees are much, much larger than the first one I found, which TACF pollinated.  I'm not great at estimating height, but I would put the lowest flowers at around 25 or 30 feet up.  I thought I was seeing three trees at the edge of the woods, with a hint of a possibly larger fourth tree behind them, but looking at the photos now I can only make out two trees for sure.  

The largest of the chestnut trees is as tall as the surrounding species, possibly 50 feet tall.  I could see no evidence of blight on the trunks from my vantage point,  but my view of the trunks was mostly blocked.  The crowns appeared quite healthy.  I saw no dead branches, unlike the scrappy chestnuts I found at Patriot Place.

I'm afraid I have no idea who owns the property.  Perhaps the power company would be willing to share that info with TACF.

This pull-off area is on the south side of the road.  The location is on route 109 in Bellingham, MA, just east of the intersection with Gray Squirrel Drive.  The grove is marked on the map below with red dots.

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