Letter from Fred Hebard on Hybrids in Other Countries

Res Botanica,

A Missouri Botanical Garden Web site.

Oct. 20, 2010


[Editorís Note: I asked Fred Hebard if orchards in other countries had many hybrids in them. -R. Zander]


-----Original Message-----

From: Fred Hebard [mailto:fred@acf.org]

Sent: Monday, August 16, 2010 3:45 PM

To: Richard Zander

Subject: SUSPECT: Re: Japanese chestnut ID


Hi Richard,


There are a few hybrids in Japan and China.I have visited two research stations in Japan and one production orchard and observed very few hybrids in production; I don't think they'd like such big trees.More hybrids may occur in Korea, where they'd be Chinese x Japanese, mostly; I have not been to Korea.I've visited five or six production areas in China and they were all Chinese (hybrids between other species and Chinese are easy to spot because of its lack of red pigmentation (anthocyanin)).


Flippo Gravatt sold the Europeans on interspecific hybrids for blight resistance and Phytophthora root rot resistance after WWII.


The Euro x Japanese first hybrids also had big nuts and were precocious.Especially because of Phytophthora resistance, the Euro x Japs were propagated extensively by government agencies, at least in France and Spain.I'm less sure about Italy & Portugal, or the Balkan states.


So I agree that Japanese-European hybrids are the most common.There certainly are groves of those in Europe, especially with the French Maronne cultivars, many of which are Euro x Jap.The same is not true of Japan.

Note that the French Maronne is a different beast from the Italian Marone.


The MAJ 7 clone I mentioned (which has somewhat unusual leaf morphology for Japanese chestnut in that the teeth are large, and the leaf) came out of a row of seed at Glen Dale, MD, which was Beltsville's Plant Introduction Station.I believe it wasimported and planted in the early 1950s.


(Beltsville is where the principal U.S. Department of Agriculture research facility is located, and a principle location for research on chestnut blight from 1910 to 1960).




Frederick V. Hebard, PhD

Staff Pathologist, Meadowview Research Farms American Chestnut Foundation

14005 Glenbrook Ave.

Meadowview, VA 24361


Email: Fred@acf.org

Web: http://www.acffarms.org

Phone: (276) 944-4631

Fax: (276) 944-0934


[Letter posted with permission of author.]