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CANCELLED—Bringing Back the Mighty Giant

Please note: This presentation has been cancelled due to the government shutdown. Please join us next week for “3D Printing: The Next Generation of Manufacturing.”


The American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was one of the most widely distributed and important tree species in eastern North America until decimated in the early part of the 20th century by an exotic fungus from Asia, the chestnut blight.

The American chestnut was highly valued for food, rot-resistant lumber and tannin.

Researchers with the Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Work Unit (RWU 4157) have been conducting American chestnut research since 1995. The primary goal of the chestnut research program is to develop protocols that managers can implement to restore this species.

The return of American chestnut into forests of the eastern United States will face challenges from native and non-native plants, animals, insects and diseases, in addition to the chestnut blight.

Planting trees that have been bred for blight-resistance using Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) has led to some important discoveries. Dr. Stacy Clark, research forester for the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee, was to present this research Friday, October 4. However, due to the government shutdown, she will not be able to present her federally-funded research. We will postpone her presentation until the Spring semester.

The UT Science Forum takes place every Friday at 12 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, Rooms C-D. The Forum is free and open to the public.