American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
Natural RangeBlighted in the 1920s and no longer grows to maturity in nature. Before the blight, grew from Maine to Michigan to the north and Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to the south.
StatureGrew to a height of 120 feet and to a diameter of 7 feet. Can still sprout from cut and dead stumps, keeping the species alive, but the sprouts quickly die as the blight takes hold.
AppearanceHeartwood is grayish brown to brown and develops a patina with age. The sapwood is almost completely white. Texture is coarse and grain relatively muted.
Weight30 lbs/ft3 @ 12% moisture content
Hardness540 lbf (kiln-dried)
WorkabilityEasy to machine and glues well. Splits easily, making nailing challenging.
DurabilityVery resistant to rot and marring.
Data: Alden, Harry A., Hardwoods of North America (Madison, WI: U.S.D.A. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory), 1995.

Photography © Virginia Polytechnic Institute, U.S. Forest Service

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