AMERICAN CHESTNUT HIKE HELD ON OCT.
WARREN, Pa., (October 1, 2008) –
Excited about the recent identification of several American Chestnut trees near
Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Picnic Area, Friends of Rimrock has announced an
“American Chestnut Hike” at Rimrock Sunday, October 5.
“Though many people
think the American chestnut tree is extinct, that is not the
case,” said Reg Darling, spokesperson for Friends of Rimrock. “There are still
millions of sprouts throughout its native range, mostly in forest areas.
However, there are very few tree-sized chestnuts. That is why we were so excited
to discover several nut-bearing trees in the Rimrock area.”
John Stoneman, founder of Allegheny Outdoor Adventures, will be
leading the hike. He explained that the goal of the hike is to document
as many American chestnut trees in the area as possible, and to provide an
opportunity for everyone who is interested in learning more about the American
chestnut, Rimrock, and the Allegheny National Forest to be involved.
All pertinent information discovered on the hike will be sent to
the local state chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation. “If you think you
have found an American chestnut tee, typically, one should collect
a leaf and twig sample from the tree and send it in with pertinent information about the
tree,” Stoneman explained. “Many states have tree locater forms that they use to
outline that type of information. By sending in the completed locater form,
along with the leaf and twig sample, the current members of tree locater
committees can properly analyze the leaf and twig sample for American
characteristics and to properly catalog your finding.”
According to Stoneman, the contact will respond to you with their
analysis. If the tree is an American chestnut and is accessible for controlled
pollination, the chapter will likely look forward to using the tree in its
breeding program--and would welcome your help in doing so!
Anyone interested in participating should meet at the main
parking lot at Rimrock Scenic Overlook and Picnic Area at 11AM. The hike will be
4-7 miles, depending upon the route chosen, and will last until around
Photos of American
chestnut trees, the leaves, the fruit and the bark will be available to help
participants identify the American chestnut. Participants are advised to dress
for the weather and to bring a lunch and beverage. A camera and binoculars would
add to your fun!