National Geographic: To save chestnut trees, we may have to ‘play God’

American Chestnut Tree Bur

This article by Sarah Gibbens appeared April 28, 2023 on the National Geographic’s website. The article can also be read here.

This article discusses American chestnut trees that have been genetically engineered to be blight-resistant. It outlines how the fungus that has attacked the American Chestnut tree, Cryphonectria parasitica, actually spares the young. The article explains how it is only when the tree bark ages and cracks that microscopic fungal spores enter the trunk and release oxalic acid that kills tree tissue.

NOTE: GJEP finds it interesting that proponents of the genetically engineered chestnut tree argue that their juvenile trees, in the ground for a mere 3-6 years, are definitive proof of everlasting blight resistance, even though blight is not present until the tree bark ages and cracks!

LEARN MORE: Listen to an interview with Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP.

TAKE ACTION: To find out more, visit the Campaign to STOP GE Trees website.