American chestnut trees once filled North American forests.
Photography photo by Dr. Garden, Shutterstock.
At one point, there were anywhere between three and five billion American chestnut trees. Today, there are, at most, 435 million still alive. Organizations like the American Chestnut Foundation are working to develop a new, blight-resistant chestnut tree to reintroduce and help revive the population. The timeline? “It’s going to take us between 150 to 200 years to make an ecological impact with millions of seedlings on the landscape,” Fitzsimmons says.