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University of Guelph


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601 Gordon St, Guelph, ON
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American Chestnut

GRIPP American Chestnut Castanea Dentata

Species name

Castanea dentata (Marshall) Borkh

Conservation Status in Canada

According to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), this species was listed as endangered in 2004. It is also listed as schedule 1 and endangered under the Species At Risk Act (SARA).

Distribution and habitat

In Canada, American chestnut is found is mostly found in the Carolinian Forest ecoregion. Despite being the smallest forest region in Canada, Carolinian forests host the greatest number of native trees and is considered species rich. Carolinian forests have been fragmented severely as a result of urban development, consequently 20% of Canada’s species at risk are found in this region. Outside of Canada, American chestnut.

Why This Species Matters

American chestnut was once a very common species in eastern North America until its decimation from the chestnut blight fungus in the early 1920’s and 30s. Prior to this time, the species was an important food source to both humans and animals.


Chestnut blight

What is GRIPP doing?

GRIPP Researchers are currently working to develop in vitro protocols for conserving and propagating American chestnut.

Read a full report on the conservation status of this species.
Read a full report on the recovery strategy for this species.