During the month of April, GBLC is holding a Tree Seed Photo Challenge! Each week we will post a photo of a seed and ask you to identify it. When you submit your guess- even if it's right or wrong!- you will be entered into a raffle prize drawing and the winners will be randomly chosen on Arbor Day. For more information about how the challenge works or the prizes, check out our blog post.
Which tree made this seed?
HINT: This is an uncommon tree seed to see today, but it was part of our native forest long ago.
Each tree has a distinctive fruit, the protective coating of this tree's seed helps us to identify it.
This week's tree was...
American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
These spiny seeds we occasionally discover in our local forests are a message of hope from the past. The mighty American Chestnut is no longer a prominent tree of north eastern forests because of a fungal disease that devastated the species in the first half of the 20th century. However, saplings continue to sprout from the root-stock of these ancient giants, showing that adaptation and resiliency occurs slowly but surely. Look for tall multi-stemmed shrubs with double-tapering, coarsely-toothed, smooth leaves, often persisting in the warmer pockets of dry woods. Chestnuts were the most important edible nut of eastern indigenous peoples and were used in many recipes and medicinal preparations. Learn more about the American Chestnut at Native Plant Trust's Go Botany project and at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our Tree Seed Photo Challenge! The winners of the raffle prizes have been randomly selected and we will be reaching out to them today, so keep an eye on your inboxes.
The GBLC team is working hard to make our special places and trails available for you to use. We ask that you to please observe our COVID-19 Trail Rules in order to safely enjoy the trails at the Lake Mansfield Conservation Forest and Pfeiffer Arboretum on Long Pond Road.
Thank you for joining with us to connect with nature!
Looking for more at-home nature activities to do this week in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day? Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) has created three tree and forest-focused scavenger hunts! They are adaptable for all ages and abilities. For environmental news and public notices for western Massachusetts, you can sign up for BEAT's weekly newsletter online.
At-home activities for the whole family
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