Thursday, July 31, 2014

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SUNY ESF plants trees for Arbor Day

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: SUNY ESF plants trees for Arbor Day
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The SUNY ESF campus is getting a little greener. Students and faculty planted some newly developed chestnut trees near the Gateway Center as part of an Arbor Day celebration on Friday.

Billions of American chestnut trees were wiped out in the early 1900s when they were attacked by blight, which are cracks in trees caused by a type of fungus. So during the past 23 years, Dr. William Powell and Dr. Chuck Maynard at SUNY ESF have been working to develop a chestnut tree that is resistant to blight.

The three trees they planted Friday were ones they've developed on campus.

"We want to show people that these trees are just like any other trees. Even though they're coming from the lab, they're no different than seedlings that are planted out normally. So we wanted to have this for an open way for people to come touch these trees and look at them and see how we're progressing," said Dr. Powell.

But their research is not over. Powell says they'll continue to develop these trees even further until they're completely resistant.

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