Christopher Barton, Michael French, Songlin Fei, Kathryn Ward, Robert Paris, Patrick Angel, Appalachian Surface Mines Provide a Unique Setting for the Return of the American Chestnut, The Solutions Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 84-87 ( Abstract: In the Appalachian mountain region, the loss of the American chestnut, along with the visible scars of coal-related surface mining, have had a doubly devastating effect. However, it is in viewing these two ecological disasters together that the possibility of a solution emerges. King of the Forest The forests of eastern North America were once home to the American chestnut, a hardwood species so large that it came to be known as the “redwood of the east.” These giants averaged several feet in diameter and could attain heights greater than 100 feet tall, and some were much larger. The largest reported chestnut was found in Francis Cove, North Carolina, and measured 17 feet in diameter. So dominant was this tree that it grew in pure stands up to 100 acres, numbered in the billions, and accounted for nearly one out of every four trees throughout its range. The American chestnut was a superb timber producer. It grew straight and fast, and often produced three or four 16-foot … Topics: Conservation; Environment