Rowlesburg holds annual West Virginia Chestnut Festival
8 Oct 2023
Just south of Kingwood in Preston County, Rowlesburg held its 15th annual West Virginia Chestnut Festival on Sunday, but what’s so special about the chestnut tree that it needs its own festival?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the eastern United States used to be the home of billions of American chestnut trees until an invasive parasitic fungus known simply as “chestnut blight” began to spread in the early 1900s, decimating the population of the American chestnut tree. Now, mature American chestnuts which used to be one of the most commonly found trees in North America are now considered a rarity.
Because of this, organizations like The American Chestnut Foundation are working to find ways to restore the American chestnut tree to its former glory. One of these methods is by cross-breeding American chestnut trees with the Chinese chestnut tree, which is resistant to chestnut blight.