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COSEWIC assessment and status report on the American Chestnut in Canada


Assessment Summary

Assessment Summary – November 2004

Common name:
American Chestnut

Scientific name:
Castanea Dentata


Reason for designation:
Once a dominant tree in well drained forests of the Eastern Deciduous Forest, this species was devastated by chestnut blight in the first part of the 20th century. The species is still present throughout most of its former range, but as a few scattered individuals that have sprouted from root crowns. Most of these succumb to the blight before reaching a substantial size, and fewer than 150 are large enough to produce seed. The species requires cross-pollination and seed set is reduced because mature individuals are widely scattered. Threats to the species include the continuous presence of the blight, aging and attrition of the root crowns, land clearing in some remaining sites, and hybridization with other species.


Status history:
Designated Threatened in April 1987. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2004. Last assessment based on an update status report.