Bringing the Chestnut Back to the Forests of Pennsylvania
Chestnut trees provide habitat for wildlife, support the ecosystem and sequester carbon dioxide.
Shell and Ducks Unlimited partnered with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to plant 250 chestnut trees in Lawrence and Beaver Counties in the fall of 2022 as part of our ongoing effort to protect nature and enhance communities.
Prior to planting, the Pennsylvania Game Commission enhanced the soil and installed a deer barrier to ensure the trees flourish. Once the trees are robust enough to withstand deer browsing, the barrier will be removed so more wildlife can enjoy the fruits of this effort, including plentiful chestnuts.
The trees will provide habitat for wildlife and support the ecosystem while sequestering approximately 8 tons of carbon dioxide annually. That’s enough to capture the CO2 emissions from nearly 3,000 gallons of gasoline.
The American/Chinese chestnut cross is blight resistant and hardy. The American chestnut was once common across the Northeastern states, representing 25% of all trees. It has an extensive history with huge importance for the resources it provided. However, within the last century, the chestnut’s population has been largely decimated by a disease known as ‘chestnut blight’. The blight was introduced into the U.S. by ornamental plantings brought here from Asia.
With this planting, the chestnut is one step closer to restoring its former place in the forests of Pennsylvania.