Today, due to the kind help of Dennis Green, one of the longtime volunteers at the North Tract, I was able to document the first evidence of an American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) for the project. After a ride up a road near the old ASP (Ammunition Supply Point) Area 2, a road with deep gullies in places and fit only for four-wheel-drive vehicles, we arrived at a small cemetery. The cemetery has several gravestones without engraving. At the far end of the cemetery Dennis showed me a large stump. It was about 12 feet high and we measured the circumference at the four-foot level to be 153-1/2 inches.
I am still trying to figure out a way to confirm the identification as American Chestnut, but I have no reason to doubt that it is. We collected a specimen for later examination, and I would like to show this tree to an aborist for their opinion.
A further investigation of the cemetery revealed a couple of stumps at ground level which could also be American Chestnuts.