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Woods hiking

Thu’er day or not

I came upon

A fence post

Grayed and

Weather worn

Nary a bit o’ rot

Appeared several rusty barb fence

Lay there

Fallun at it’s feet.

Farmer said yep, he’d hung

Many a fence

On nat post

Many a year or two,

A lot more years

Than you,

Darn thing outlasting ‘em all

And me and you

Jest won’t rot

The post

Was virgin Chestnut.

Author’s Note: The American Chestnut tree (Castania dentata) fascinates me and I read and write about it a lot. It caught the blight when the Oriental Chestnut was introduced into this country over a century ago. The oriental variety (which tastes like a buckeye) brought with it the blight. Killed every American Chestnut which dominated the eastern forest, although the tree to this day sends up shoots from the roots. There’ll be a fifty foot ring around a Chestnut stump if you come across one on a walk in the woods. They only get bush height because the pathogen is still in the air. Castania dentata fed us and the wildlife, was the basis of the tanning industry, was every railroad tie and fence post in its dominant centuries. Research today consists of developing a blight resistant Chestnut by crossing it with a blight resistant variety. So order you one or two and plant them and enjoy their nuts.

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