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Can American chestnut be coppiced?

 
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European sweet chestnut is well known as a coppicing species, and I was just reading in another thread that slippery elm which is susceptible to Dutch elm disease can be coppiced for medicinals production. This allows it to grow to harvestable size and then it is cut before the disease takes hold.
I think American chestnut may have potential to do something similar. Has anyone tried to grow it as an intentionally coppiced tree to get a harvest of smaller trunks? I understand that the smaller regrowth from the stump grows to a certain size before it is killed off by chestnut disease. And presumably goes through the cycle again.
 
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All the related species I'm familiar with (tanoak, chinquapin, beech) will resprout / can be coppiced.  I googled it and found this https://medium.com/radical-hope/reviving-the-american-chestnut-db32809adb3b which says that yes it can.
 
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Andrea,

Back when there were genuine American Chestnuts, they were well known for their ability to coppice.

Today, true American Chestnut trees are a thing of the past but there are some new varieties that have just been developed that should be identical in every respect to American Chestnuts except that they are resistant to blight.

Eric
 
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Andrea Locke wrote:European sweet chestnut is well known as a coppicing species, and I was just reading in another thread that slippery elm which is susceptible to Dutch elm disease can be coppiced for medicinals production. This allows it to grow to harvestable size and then it is cut before the disease takes hold.
I think American chestnut may have potential to do something similar. Has anyone tried to grow it as an intentionally coppiced tree to get a harvest of smaller trunks? I understand that the smaller regrowth from the stump grows to a certain size before it is killed off by chestnut disease. And presumably goes through the cycle again.



Hi Andrea,
So yes, I'd echo Eric's comment that American chestnut will definitely coppice. And it's actually not really 'extinct' or a thing of the past. In fact, it's naturally coppiced by the blight quite regularly here in the eastern United States. Where I live in Vermont we're a bit outside the range, but I've regularly seen chestnut (American chestnut) coppice stools in western Massachusetts and North Carolina. These aren't necessarily anything people coppiced. They're the stumps that continue to send up new shoots after the top parts have been killed by blight. In fact, I recall reading a paper that suggested that the blight is applying selective pressure to transform the niche the American chestnut fills in the ecosystem from one of single stemmed canopy tree to multi-stemmed understory shrub.

So while, yes, you can coppice it, I don't think you'll get poles of a particularly useful size from a pure American chestnut. But this does highlight the fact that coppicing isn't something that is unique to human forest management. It's a mechanism by which trees and shrubs have evolved to remain persistent on a site in response to disturbance or damage.
 
Eric Hanson
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Mark,

You said it much better than I did.

Eric
 
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