From small seedlings, giant chestnuts grow. Thanks to local tree expert Bill Sachs for supplying four chestnut seedlings and the "grow tubes" to protect them from the deer. The seed he grew them from, obtained from Connecticut, is the product of decades of breeding to develop native chestnuts resistant to the introduced chestnut blight that devastated the American chestnut a century ago. Terhune Orchards provided Bill with room in their greenhouse to grow some 80 seedlings, which he has been planting at various sites in the Princeton area and in Pennsylvania.
The product of our labors doesn't really look like new trees. The "grow tubes" are experimental, designed to provide the seedling protection and sufficient light, while discouraging lateral branching.
For more posts on the initiative to reintroduce native chestnuts to Princeton, go to PrincetonNatureNotes.org and type in "native chestnut".