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Blight-Resistant Chestnuts Planted in VA

A dozen blight-resistant chestnut tree seedlings have been planted at a former surface mine site in Southwest Virginia.

The plantings on the Wise-Dickenson county line are part of an effort by the American Chestnut Foundation to restore the trees in Appalachian forests. A blight wiped out most of the trees in the early 20th century. The seedlings are a hybrid of American and Chinese chestnut trees.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports that more than 200 schoolchildren participated in Friday's tree-planting. They also planted more than 1,000 oak and persimmon seedlings.

Jon Lawson with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy says small plantings of chestnut trees are planned on Arbor Day in at least five other Appalachian states.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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