A Decade Of Progress
"Alone each of us can do a little – Together we can do much more!"
- The Canadian Chestnut Council (CCC) is a charitable organization that has been actively involved since 1988 in the development and implementation of numerous objectives in support of American chestnut. Through the volunteer efforts of members of the Board and the CCC, the following activities and results have been initiated and/or completed.
- The CCC acts as an information network for coordinating the support efforts by various Chestnut enthusiasts and research scientists across Ontario and Canada, and to communicate with similar groups in the United States and elsewhere.
- Annual meetings of the CCC are held each fall to allow members a chance to meet and discuss new developments and interests regarding chestnut. Guest speakers and members regularly highlight new developments in chestnut research, and members often use the annual meeting as an opportunity exchange chestnut seed and discuss common interests.
- Existing sites of American chestnut in southern Ontario have been surveyed and mapped to identify as many surviving individuals as possible. Several hundred sites have been identified through the efforts of numerous volunteers working with the CCC in eastern Canada.
- Identification of interpollinating sites of American chestnut, and collection and distribution of nuts and seedlings of American chestnut to individuals with suitable sites and interest in propagation of this species. As a result of these efforts, several hundred new plantings of American chestnut have been initiated in southern Ontario by volunteers working with the CCC.
- To ensure as much genetic diversity of American chestnut as possible is preserved, members of the CCC have surveyed regions suitable for the survival of American chestnut outside of southern Ontario. Where feasible, collaborators have been identified and disease-free seeds have been provided for the initiation of new sites of American chestnut in these areas outside of the range of the Chestnut blight pathogen. To date, sites of American chestnut have been identified and/or initiated in eastern Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia.
- In 1986, the status of American chestnut in Ontario was assessed for the World Wildlife Fund and determined to be that of a Threatened Species. Many of these original sites were revisited from 1995-98 to review possible changes in the status of these trees. Currently “The American Chestnut is listed as an endangered species under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. This Act protects the tree from being collected, killed or harmed. The Natural Heritage component of the Provincial Policy Statement under Ontario’s Planning Act provides for the protection of significant habitat of threatened species.” See: http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc type=fact&id=27
- Hypovirulence is a naturally-occurring biological control phenomenon that contributed to the regeneration of European chestnut (Castanea sativa) throughout much of Europe after Chestnut blight also destroyed these populations. Naturally occurring hypovirulence also has been found in populations of chestnut blight in southern Ontario and experiments to assess the potential for biological control of chestnut blight in Canada have been initiated.
For further information on the Canadian Chestnut Council, please contact us
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Various reports on the status of restoration efforts, tree population surveys, DNA analysis, breeding and propagation programs, etc.
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