Project


Chestnut Trees


Chestnuts were ubiquitous plants and a valuable resource for the survival of populations in several geographic areas (e.g., Europe, Asia, parts of Africa)

It has been cultivated for its nuts and rot-resistant wood for thousands of years

The different species of chestnuts have been affected by insects and fungi that caused severe damages to the plants or their death. European chestnut has been affected by a cynipidae that lowered the production of nuts and wood.

American chestnut trees were decimated by a fungus that  caused the chestnut blight

 


Main Diseases


 

Chestnut Blight

chestblight
Chestnut Tree affected by blight
Caused by the fungus Chryphonectria parasitica
Intorduced to North America in 1904, in Europe around..
Wilting leaves, large cankers with rupturing bark, death of the tree’s trunk and upper limbs
3.5 billion American chestnut trees lost due to blight from 1910-1950

 

Ink diseases

 

inkedcork
Chestnut tree affected by ink disease
Caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi and Pcambivora
Rot extended to the roots and the base of the trunk, defoliation, premature drying out of the foliage, unripe husks which cause gradual withering and death of the tree

 

 

Chestnut Gall Wasp Disease

 

galle
Gall wasp on a chestnut tree
Caused by Dryocosmus Kuriphilus

Brought from China to Japan and North America, then to north-western Italy in 2002. It has now spread throughout Italy and other European countries

Galls on growth buds and leaves, lower flowering, reduced growth, general weakening of the plants with increased disease secondary, lower production of chestnuts and timber

Gall wasp in the US

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Why invest on Chestnut Restoration?

Values

Agricultural                                                               

  • Chestnuts
  • Flour
  • Beer

Wood products

  • Bench
  • Desk
  • Kitchen furnitures

Cultural

  • Staple food in different countries for thousands of years
  • Chestnut harvest celebrated with traditional food and wine fairs
  • Some cities derive their name from chestnut

Ecological value

  • Keystone forest species
  • Food for livestock
  • Carbon absorption

 

How invest on Chestnut Restoration?

copertina

⇒ Forestry Mapping   

Use of innovative technology systems to collect data about:

  • Trees
  • Forest resources
  • Soil properties
  • More…

⇒ Biological control

  • Control of Dryocosmus kuriphilus and other insects through targeted release of antagonists
  • More…

⇒ Implemented Precision Forestry 

  • High technology sensing and analytical tools to support site-specific, economic, environmental, and sustainable forest management
  • Innovative tools to precisely manage coppice, fruit orchard, high forest
  • More…

⇒ Biomass production

  • Biomass Production. Forestry products are transformed into biomass that will be used to generate energy or heat
  • More…

⇒ Informational resources

  • Creation of dedicated parks and nature centers
  • Development of educational material to bring the story and properties of chestnut trees to schools, museums, nature centers
  • More…