Allegheny Outdoor Adventures Bradford, PA

The American Chestnut Trees in the ANF

NOTE:In 2008 I DID find real, living, non-diseased, nut producing, pure, American Chestnut trees at Rim Rock, above Morrison Run, Jakes Rocks, and Kinzua Heights, as well as Tracy Ridge and Indian Run. These trees are NOT cross-bread hybrids, or shoots from old roots.

It was incorrectly reported in a local paper that what I found was Chinese Chestnuts. They were not. And despite having documentation of scientific examination of the trees I found, the paper did not print a correction. I sent Samples to the head of the American Chestnut association in pa. And the test results came back that the trees I found were in fact 100% American Chestnut trees. I have since documented the location of over 48 living (some nut producing), trees.

Later in 2008 I led a hike that included two professors and some of their students from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to visit these trees. - John "Stony" Stoneman



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 4PM.

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!

John Stoneman, near "S1" with newly dropped American Chestnut burs


The opened up bur


Chestnut Bur


American Chestnut Burs

Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge



American Chestnut burs on ground


Bur on rock


American Chestnut branch


The American Chestnut leaves


Location of nut producing trees


Karen, Jim and John pointing out hanging burs


The American Chestnut bur opening in four sections


Marking the trees with white ribbons


Branch from American Chestnut


A leaf from the American Chestnut


Twig and bud


Open bur on tree


More open burs


Maddox with Chestnut leaf


Closed bur on tree


UPDATE: OCT 10, 2008- The Bradford Era ran an response today from Dick Robertson saying that the nuts and trees we found at Rim Rock are Beech and not Chestnut. I called him to differ with his opinion. The trees at Rim Rock exhibit all the classic "American Chestnut" indicators, from the bark to the twigs to the nuts to the burs and including the leaves! I wish the Bradford Era would have done some internet research on the American Chestnut and the Beech before printing Mr. Robertsons piece. The trees, leaves, burs and nuts are drastically different.

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