Dolly Parton has recorded a new song for the American Chestnut Foundation and is offering it as a free download to fans.
If you visit ACF.org, you can download "Oh, Chestnut Tree, a song dedicated to the American chestnut.
According to ACF, "the American chestnut tree was an essential component of the entire eastern US ecosystem. A late-flowering, reliable, and productive tree, unaffected by seasonal frosts, it was the single most important food source for a wide variety of wildlife from bears to birds. Rural communities depended upon the annual nut harvest as a cash crop to feed livestock. The chestnut lumber industry was a major sector of rural economies. Chestnut wood is straight-grained and easily worked, lightweight and highly rot-resistant, making it ideal for fence posts, railroad ties, barn beams and home construction, as well as for fine furniture and musical instruments."
Unfortunately, most of the American chestnuts were killed off back in the first half of the 20th century when imported Asian chestnuts brought with them a fungus that the American variety wasn't able to combat.
The American Chesnut Foundation has in recent years created a special American chestnut that is resistent to the fungus and is now working hard to restore the trees to their rightful place in Eastern woodlands.
It's actually an interesting project and nice to see that Dolly's involved. Be sure to visit ACF.org to learn more about the American chestnut and download your copy of Dolly's lovely song.
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