The American chestnut was once one of America's most prevalent and valued trees—a "perfect tree" that ruled the forests from Georgia to Maine. But in the early 20th century a plague from Asia swept through the chestnut forests until it had killed close to four billion trees and left the species nearly extinct—one of the worst ecological blows to North America since the Ice Age. Most experts considered the damage irreparable, but here Susan Freinkel profiles the unconventional characters who are still fighting to save the American chestnut.
"In prose as strong and quietly beautiful as the American chestnut itself, Susan Freinkel profiles the silent catastrophe of a near-extinction and the impassioned struggle to bring a species back from the brink. Freinkel is a rare hybrid: equally fluid and in command as a science writer and a chronicler of historical events, and graced with the poise and skill to seamlessly graft these talents together. A perfect book."—Mary Roach