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ETSU to host Don Davis speaking about the American Chestnut

chesttree

JOHNSON CITY (April 3, 2014) — On Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Ball Hall auditorium, East Tennessee State University will host environmental historian Don Davis, who will speak about “Giving Character to the Landscape: An Environmental History of the American Chestnut.”

Davis, the author of “An Environmental History of the Southern Appalachians,” is currently the Governmental Affairs Representative of the American Chestnut Foundation in Washington, D.C. He will present the tree’s history and cultural significance in the Southern Appalachian mountains, as well as its prospects for the future.

The American Chestnut, Castanea dentata, once dominated Southern Appalachian cove hardwood forests, comprising as much as one quarter of the trees in many mature stands. The species was prized as a food and timber source, and appreciated for its beauty and ecological role.

In the 20th century, a blight killed most of the mature trees. Now, after decades of crossbreeding efforts, a version of the species may be poised for a revival.

For additional information, contact Dr. Kevin O’Donnell, director of the Environmental Studies minor, at . For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.