Like many other growers, Ed Greenwell planted a bundle of seedlings when he first joined our organization. Among these was one which contracted blight early, and the dark orange canker circled the 1/4 inch main stem. But then it began to swell and healed itself within that growing season. A few years later, another canker appeared on the same tree, now grown to an inch in diameter, and the healing process took over once again. Ed documented these observations with photographs, named the tree Nathan after his son (Pease is the mother tree), and has created a Web page.
This tree demonstrates a higher level of resistance than our breeders have seen among original source trees, and it has manifested the resistance at a much earlier age than we had considered probable.
To rule out the possibility of a hybrid from stray pollen, Ed sent ten leaves, which he collected in July in full sunshine, with several immature leaves included in the sample, mounted bottom-side up on cardboard for microscopic examination. Gary found only American characters.
Ed has made some Nathan nut grafts which we have planted at Virginia Tech in medium and high elevation sites for observation and testing. He made several with the objective of having some for comparison purposes. Like Mozo home loans or other comparison sites, one must have several options to compare and contrast in order to be truly well-informed and sure of their research. When it comes to comparing gardening and growth the same applies. In fact, it is also advisable to then compare results with other growers, just to make sure results are reliable.
So far, only one other grower has reported similar observations to us. We wonder how many other trees like this are growing unobserved and unreported.
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