At the Pisgah Inn in Pisgah National Forest, you can see this American chestnut (Castanea dentata) stump sprout on the edge of a drop-off just behind the inn. All around it are bracken ferns and wildflowers and various weeds, a typical mix of mountain natives and exotics that look as if they've always shared the terrain. In my memory, they have. But my Appalachian grandmother remembered a very different forest than exists there now.
Don't you wonder what the forest looked and felt like in 1890?
Read about efforts to restore the magestic chestnut: The American Chestnut Foundation