A free, interactive, online course, ‘An Introduction to the American chestnut (Castanea dentata)’ is now available from the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station. The learner will be introduced to the ecology, silvics, cultural importance, historical significance, and demise of the tree species that once occupied 200 million acres in the eastern United States.
The American chestnut was once one of the most abundant and common tree species in the east, before it was virtually eliminated by a non-native tree disease, the chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica). American chestnut wood was highly valued for its rot resistance, and the nuts were traded for a variety of goods and services in rural Appalachian communities.
The course includes a glossary and various resources the learner can download including links to dendrology tables, external webpages, and published scientific papers. It is available for free to anyone through a simple registration process. The course is self-paced and will take approximately one hour to complete. A certificate of completion qualifies for 1 CFE credit with the Society of American Foresters.
The course was developed by Stacy Clark, research forester with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station and adjunct faculty in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee. To access the course and registration instructions, click here. Use web browsers Edge or Chrome: If you have questions regarding the course, please contact Stacy Clark directly at email@example.com 865-318-8391.
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