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Disease outpacing control in largest chestnut patch left

From Milwaukee, Wisc., at a meeting of the American Phytopathological Society

The first results of an unusual test of a biological control don't look good.

Most people think of American chestnuts as long gone, thanks to an imported fungus, but scattered patches have survived. The largest, with 5,000 trees, lies in La Crosse Co., Wis. It thrived until 1987, when Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources pathologist Jane Cummings Carlson confirmed that blight had struck. At first, caretakers tried to control the outbreak by cutting down and burying all infected trees, but the disease kept reappearing.

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