The American chestnut tree was once known as the king of the eastern forest. It tree grew more than 100 feet tall and six feet across, and accounted for a quarter of the timber in the woods. Its straight-grained wood was remarkably resistant to rot, and its nuts were a reliable source of food.
The chestnut was wiped out by blight in the early 20th century, but now scientists in Syracuse think they’re close to bringing it back.
Bill Coffin, 84, has spent a lifetime in love with the woods.