EKU plants hundreds of chestnut trees in new research effort

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Eastern Kentucky University is working to preserve your holiday traditions with their participation in an effort to revive the Chestnut tree in Kentucky.

Volunteers planted 615 new chestnut seedlings at The American Chestnut Federation Regional Seed Orchard on EKU’s campus in late November.

In cooperation with the TAFC and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, EKU is hoping to restore the Chestnut tree to its roots in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

“The EKU American chestnut research orchard is the starting point that represents that sometime in the future, maybe 100 years from now, the harvested seeds from this orchard will bring these eastern giants back,” said Dan Olsen, supervisor of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

This process will take decades before any of the researchers see the fruits of their labor, but they are hopeful nonetheless.

“This is a historic moment for Kentucky, Tennessee and The American Chestnut Foundation,” said Hill Craddock, professor of biology at UT Chattanooga. “These are the trees from which the future forests of the American chestnut will descend.”

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