Introducing Hybrid American Chestnut Trees Could Reduce Carbon

Introducing a hybrid of the American chestnut tree would accomplish two things: bring back the almost extinct species, and reduce carbon emissions, according to a Purdue University study. American chestnuts grow faster and larger than other hardwood trees, allowing them to capture more carbon.

Douglass Jacobs, author of the study and a associate professor of forestry and natural resources, said, “The American chestnut is an incredibly fast-growing tree. Generally the faster a tree grows, the more carbon it is able to sequester. And when these trees are harvested and processed, the carbon can be stored in the hardwood products for decades, maybe longer.”

Chestnuts almost disappeared 50 years ago because of a fungus. The new hybrid is 94 percent American chestnut combined with a more blight-resistant Chinese chestnut. “We're really quite close to having a blight-resistant hybrid that can be reintroduced into eastern forests,” Jacobs said. “But because American chestnut has been absent from our forests for so long now, we really don't know much about the species at all.


Post a Comment