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The Citizens Restoring American Chestnuts (CRAC) is completed It was a partnership between Appalachian Lab (AL) and volunteers in western Maryland and surrounding areas to “crack the code” to re-establish American chestnut trees. Considered the Redwood of the East, the native American chestnut tree once dominated our forests from Maine to Florida and west to Ohio. But, its populations were decimated in the early 1900s by a non-native fungus called Chestnut blight. Today, except for a handful of trees, American chestnuts only survive underground and as small shrubs that are re-infected by the blight a few years after sprouting.

With funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, AL scientists and CRAC volunteers (or citizen scientists) examined how well American chestnut seedlings from surviving mother trees grew in the environmental conditions of our region. This information can be used breed trees that are both blight resistance and adapted to our area.

In May 2013, more than a hundred volunteers participated in the CRAC planting workshops and received 555 American chestnut seedlings and 450 seeds. Many have posted on their data on the CRAC online FieldScope map.

If you were a past volunteer and still have data to submit, please submit using the links below

Email us if you have any questions about your trees or entering your data -- chestnut@al.umces.edu

Visit our CRAC Facebook webpage to learn more about the project and get regular updates.
Visit our CRAC FieldScope website to see a map of our seedlings.

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