On our hike though the Joyce Kilmer Wilderness, I spotted a burr on the ground beneath a grove of sprouts that looked to me like chestnut. Having just read in the guidebook about chestnuts, I excitedly picked it up (ouch! those burrs are sharp!). It was spiky on the outside and split in four sections, and the seed was no longer inside. Could it really be from a fruiting American chestnut? After I returned home, I consulted an excellent online guide to chestnut identification (link here), and this looks like the American chestnut from what I can tell. The American Chestnut Foundation says that if you find what you think it is an American chestnut, to send them a leaf and twig for identification. Unfortunately, I didn't take a sample this time. The group is trying to identify and study American chestnuts in hopes to breed trees resistant to the blight for reintroduction.
|Is this burr from an American chestnut?|
|Ill-fated hemlock snag in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.|
Source: Homan, Tim. 2007. Hiking Trails of the Joyce Kilmer--Slickrock and Cisco Creek Wildernesses. 3rd Edition.