Dead American Chestnut tree use? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-05-2006, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
CharlotteSometimes's Avatar
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Hi -

We have a chestnut tree here that is in the national database....but unfortunately, it has succumbed to the blight that wiped out most of all the other american chestnuts. there is one measely limb at the bottom and a few suckers that are budding, but the rest is dead.

The folks at the American Chestnut Foundation once mentioned that if I ever take it down (which I am thinking of doing now because it just looks so pathetic) I shouldn't part with it too easily....

So my question is, what do you do with the wood of a dead chestnut? I mean, I know I could burn it, but that seems just wrong. I've heard that people buy it, but do I season it for awhile?

I only know about chestnuts insofar as history and the new breeding efforts.

It kills me to take it down, but it ain't coming back. I just have to wait for one of the new varieties.

Thoughts anyone?
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#2 of 3 Old 05-06-2006, 01:04 AM
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How sad that you lost your chestnut. American Chestnuts are by far the most beautiful trees. Their wood is extremely rot resistent and very strong. Highly sought after.

"Chestnut wood is highly resistant to rot, and prior to introduction of blight, was used for railroad ties, utility poles, farm fences and barns, mine timbers. Tannin from bark and wood was the prime source for leather tanning. according to Jaynes, "hogs were regularly turned loose in Appalachia each Fall to fatten on chestnut mast (fallen nuts)."

Maybe you could contact this person:

Mother to one wild and crazy boy 12/29/2002.
Midwife, Homeschool Educator and Crafter.
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#3 of 3 Old 05-07-2006, 11:04 AM
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If you have any small wood mills in your area, ask there. Sometimes folks have small, portable mills in their backyards. Check your phonebook. Also, call the county extention office - they are good liasons to agricultural type things - or a county forester. Your city hall should have those numbers. Here in MN, we have a company called Northern Hardwoods that mills, well, hardwoods.

Just so you know, the "stumpage fee" - what a log is worth - is usually way less than you expect. We've been getting massive oak logs to patch our cabin, and we're only paying stumpage - somewhere in the realm of $150 per 25 footer. Chestut apparently warps more than oak as it dries, so it won't be great for, say, floorboards.

Or you could just have a chainsaw artist come and make you a sculpture. Those are always a lot of fun!
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