Benefits - for Insects

We American chestnut trees, like all trees, are home to insects, in one way or another.

Take the large chestnut-loving chestnut weevil that lives in North America. First, the female mother chews a hole into the fruit and lays several eggs. The larvae (her newborn) then eat within the nut 6-10 weeks before chewing their way out and burrowing into the earth. Before the blight, extraordinary numbers of weevil larvea were produced annually. They, in turn, were food for shrews, moles, mice and other animals.

And then we have the moths. Two kinds of moths have not been seen for decades, and probably are extinct by now, because they survived on American chestnuts. Another moth species t hat has survived still feeds on our young sprouts. But I'll bet that even THEIR population is declining; in fact, they may be extinct as early as 2050. Check back with me on this one.