John's Journal...

The Latest Turkey Research

The American Chestnut

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: What have scientists learned about turkeys and Click to enlargeturkey habitat that can help us understand turkeys better, learn how to provide better habitat for them and find out why and when they gobble? State conservation agencies across the United States currently have conducted research projects in these areas with the help of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the federal government and other conservation organizations. To learn the latest information, we’ve talked with Tom Hughes, senior wildlife biologist for the NWTF (

For years scientists have worried about the loss of most of the American wild chestnut trees in much of its home range. “The American chestnut’s a huge mast-producing tree for all wildlife species that depend on mast as a part of their diet, like turkeys, squirrels and deer,” Hughes mentions.

In the early 1900’s, a blight attacked the American chestnut trees and wiped out as much as one-half of the mast-bearing stands in a good portion of the Appalachian region. Since that time, numerous groups have made concerted efforts to bring back the American chestnut trees or make them blighClick to enlarget resistant. The NWTF has worked with the American Chestnut Cooperators’ Federation (ACCF) and the American Chestnut Foundation (ACF) to develop a blight-resistant American Click to enlargechestnut tree. The ACF has spliced blight-resistant Chinese chestnuts with American chestnut genes to produce a tree that looks exactly like the American chestnut tree, yet withstand blight like the Chinese chestnuts.

“Thanks to the work of these two organizations, there will be blight-resistant American chestnut trees available to the public for planting in the wild within the next five to 10 years,” Hughes says. “The American chestnut is one of the fastest-growing hardwood species. If planted on fertile sites, this new breed of American chestnut can start producing nuts within 15 to 20 years.” You can keep up with this research by visiting the ACF website at Every year, we learn more about the majestic wild turkey. Your hunting club can apply much of this information to have more turkeys on your lands.

Check back each day this week for more about "The Latest Turkey Research"

Day 1: The Importance of Turkey Bands
Day 2: Texas Turkeys, and Turkeys and Grape Vines
Day 3: Gobbler Kidnappers
Day 4: The Role that Habitat and Predators Play in Turkey-Nesting Success
Day 5: The American Chestnut



Entry 395, Day 4