Darrell Williams and his son Jesse with an Ozark Chinquapin (Castanea ozarkensis)tree they found in SW Missouri.
Bob Butler found this very healthy Ozark chinquapin tree in NW Arkansas when it was only one inch in diameter and said it is now 8 years old. Since this land has been in his family he has kept the immediate area of the tree canopy open. Bob also has property in Mississippi where he has planted some Ozark chinquapin trees and he reports they are doing good.
FORMER OFFICIAL MISSOURI STATE CHAMPION
OZARK CHINQUAPIN TREE.
Tim Smith and I (Stephen Bost) found this 10" DBH tree in SW Missouri. Trees such as this one had to have some resistance to the chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) to have made it to this size. Surviving trees like this one are good candidates for crosspollination of other resistant trees .
Tim found yet another Ozark chinquapin tree, however this 9" diameter tree unfortunately was blighted. We found at this SW Missouri location a total of four trees 7-11" diameter.
John Logan viewing seed soon to be released from an Ozark chinquapin in Southern Missouri. This hill top was at one time dominated by chinquapin trees. Now, because of the blight, it is covered with sprouts emerging from old stumps. John said a fire two years ago had killed out many of the chinquapin sprouts and what we observed on this day was less than what had existed here. chinquapin TREES are very fire tolerant, however stump sprouts in close proximity to blighted dead wood do not do as well with fire.
Professor Joe Schibig and Ed Camp (right) would later discover more trees in this area. I brought back to Missouri two saplings from these trees. They will improve our gene pool of surviving trees. On my trip to Alabama I was guided by Dr. Jimmy Maddox and a friend to a tree they discovered in Tishmingo County Mississippi. We are still waiting on DNA chloroplast testing for positive identification as well on that tree. A special thanks goes to Professor Joe Schibig, Dr. Jimmy Maddox (not pictured), Ed Camp, and Price Tarpley (not pictured). They took time out of their busy schedules to show me discoveries they had made and I was able to see the dedication to the restoration efforts of the American Chestnut tree (and OCF efforts) that all of them shared. You can not buy that kind of unselfish dedication to a cause.
Me (Stephen Bost) on the left and Professor Joe Schibig on the right standing by a tree in central Alabama. This tree was found by Price Tarpley while he was deer hunting. We are currently doing DNA chloroplast testing to determine if it is indeed an Ozark chinquapin. This small 7" DBH tree looks similar to the Ozark chinquapin but the leaves appeared somewhat different. Before the 1980's Alabama had Ozark chinquapin trees. “Professor Schibig (web master for the website of the TN chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation as well as his own Resurrecting the American chestnut website) has done a lot of work to help restore the American chestnut and has been very helpful to the work done by the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation.”
Four-year old Will holding up a large cluster of Ozark chinquapin seed burrs and leaves. At the time of this update we have 215 acres of land for test plots in Missouri and Arkansas. We currently have another commitment of approximately 1,000 acres of test plots available in Dent, Carter, Shannon, Ripley, and Reynolds counties in Missouri to use for test plots to re-establish the trees. Thanks to the support of everyone in the historic range of the trees, their future looks hopeful. To one day eat the sweet delicious nuts and see wildlife benefit from these trees may not be that far off.
Ozark chinquapin wood is very rot resistant and these large tree trunks are like a ghost from the past. I (Stephen Bost) discovered 60-80 trees on this hill in Oregon County Missouri. Current tree books do not list this county as part of the modern range of the trees yet tree books from the early 1900's include it in the range of the Ozark chinquapin. How many more discoveries are out there to be made?
Ozark chinquapin is sometimes referred to as Ozark chestnut. The strong similarity to American chestnut can be seen in these leaves of an Ozark chinquapin from Oregon County Missouri. The same chestnut blight that decimated populations of American chestnut trees in the east jumped species and killed our Ozark chestnut trees as well. The Ozark chinquapin or Ozark chestnut however is more resistant to the blight than the American chestnut. Seed collected and pollen from this Southern Missouri location will help in our efforts to add more genetic diversity to our restoration efforts.
OZARK CHINQUAPIN RESEARCH TEST PLOTS.
Professional Forester Terry Cunningham of Pioneer Forest on the right and me (Stephen Bost) on the left. Pioneer Forest is working with us on our restoration work and research of the Ozark chinquapins by providing 1000+ acres for research test plots in six counties in SE Missouri. Terry along with foresters Clint Trammel and Greg Iffrig (both not pictured) manage over 149,000 acres of land in Missouri for Pioneer Forest. Their unique approach to forestry mimics the natural processes, they practice sustainable timber harvest, and use environmentally sound stewardship ethics. They have received state and national recognition for preserving and protecting natural and native plant communities and offering recreational opportunities to visitors as well. Some of Missouri's only remaining virgin forest is protected by these dedicated professionals at Pioneer Forest. Pioneer Forest's commitment to preserve and protect natural communities is a good partnership with the goals of the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation in restoring a 100% pure Ozark Chinquapin.