American Chestnut Fact Sheet

Family:  Fagaceae - Beech family
Latin name: Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.
Common name: American chestnut
Castanea dentata - American Chestnut showing trunk, bark and  Morton Arboretum accession tag Castanea dentata - American Chestnut - habit in winter Castanea dentata - American Chestnut - leaves and burs on ground in winter Castanea dentata - American Chestnut - closeup of burs on ground in winter Castanea dentata - American Chestnut - leaf on ground in winter - inset photo of summer leaves

The photographs on this page show an American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) that is in the Morton Arboretum and is labeled with the following accession information 484-47*1 sd FF89\area. It is in the Edgewood Forestry Plots.

The Beech Parking Lot is closest to this tree, but the tree is not close to any path and is usually hard to reach. The online collection catalog for Morton Arboretum indicates a total of 5 trees, but I have only found three. There is a listing for a second American Chestnut tree in the same area as this one, but I wasn't aware of that at the time of my visit.

There is on listed at M-82, which is in the small woods just west of the Buckeye parking lot, but it is just a stump.

I originally spotted this tree several years ago while driving along the Edgewood Forest Road, but that is now a service road which veers to the right before it reaches the chestnut tree. The tree is now off the beaten path and I had a bit of trouble finding it, but I remember that there was a birch nearby and kept that in mind as I searched.

It was early February and there were still a lot of leaves and unopened burs on the ground surrounding the tree. Don't be fooled by the oak leaves that are also present. they are nearly the same color as the chestnut leaves at this time of the year, but their shape is uniquely different.

There is also a tree that is visible from the road just past the Applachia parking lot.

    Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
          Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
             Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
                Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
                   Subclass: Hamamelidae -
                      Order: Fagales -
                         Family: Fagaceae - Beech family
                            Genus: Castanea P. Mill. - chestnut
                               Species: Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh. - American chestnut

Source for classification listing: USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. 

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