The American Chestnut was legendary… my father told me of the old days, when steam engines would carry trainloads of chestnuts out of the mountains, bound for New York where they would be roasted and sold by vendors with little push-carts during Christmas… then some dumbass brought ONE SINGLE Chinese Chestnut to the botanical gardens in New York City. It carried the blight.
The blight advanced 50 miles a year, no matter what was done to stop or slow it… in the end, billions of trees were wiped out. Greatest biological disaster of the 20th century. The root systems of those old trees still exist, and they send up saplings all the time… and they are fine, for about 7 years. Which is how long it takes for them to mature. Once they mature and start to make nuts, the blight takes over and they die. Very few are resistant.
Then, a stand of 6 blight resistant American Chestnuts were found on Stone Mountain in Georgia. They started backbreeding with the Chinese Chestnut and now have a tree that is 15/16ths American Chestnut and 1/16th Chinese.
Anyway, the American Chestnut Society is doing their best to bring this awesome tree back… to understand how titanic those old trees were, you should look up some of the old pictures… there are few living things that large… blue whales, giant redwoods… and there were billions of them…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1