In the fall of 2018, SCH Academy partnered with the American Chestnut Foundation to restore the American Chestnut Tree to the eastern United States. SCH established a research-oriented American chestnut “orchard” of 100 trees on the hill adjacent to the tennis courts and research efforts to develop a blight-resistant American Chestnut have been incorporated into SCH biology, ecology, and environmental coursework.
This week, in celebration of Earth Day, an ECC cohort of “Chestnut Chipmunks” assisted the American Chestnut Foundation's Director of Restoration Sara Fitzsimmons with planting our favorite, local chestnut trees. Over the years, SCH students have planted over 1,000 native trees/seedlings, over 120 native plants, and 2,400 flowering bulbs.
A bit of arboreal history: The American chestnut is a large, monoecious deciduous tree of the beech family. Before the species was destroyed by the chestnut blight, a fungal disease, it was one of the most important forest trees throughout its range, and was considered the finest chestnut tree in the world.