Sandvik Materials Technology, a business area of Sandvik, a developer and producer of advanced stainless steels, special alloys, titanium, and other high-performance materials, has celebrated a double anniversary by holding an American chestnut tree planting ceremony at its facilities in Pennsylvania.
The ceremony at the manufacturing facility in Clarks Summit marked the 50th anniversary of the company’s operations at the site and over 100 years of Sandvik’s presence in the United States.
In commemoration of these significant anniversaries, with direct support from the PA/NJ Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, a ceremonial planting of three of the most advanced, backcrossed, American chestnut restoration trees in existence was held.
Matt Sutherland, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sandvik Materials Technology – Tube Americas, and a long-standing member of the American Chestnut Foundation, addressed the gathering and delivered a welcome speech.
He said: “Restoration of the tree encompasses the same dedication to sustainability, conservation, technological excellence, and further exemplifies the kind of courage and commitment, to take on the most formidable challenges, that will continue being the key to the success of the Sandvik Materials Technology organization.
“We hope this ceremony further demonstrates our commitment to our values, employees, facility, and community while also symbolizing the continued success of Sandvik Materials Technology in the Scranton metropolitan area.”
More than a century ago, nearly four billion American chestnut trees were growing in the forests of the eastern U.S. Once as common as hemlock or oak, chestnuts were among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees in the forest. The wood was rot-resistant, straight-grained, and suitable for furniture, fencing, and building. The nuts fed wildlife, people and their livestock.
In the early 1900s, a blight fungus introduced on plants from Asia spread throughout the range and killed an estimated 4 billion American chestnuts. The chestnut blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world’s forests in all of history.
American chestnut is considered functionally extinct because the blight fungus does not kill the tree’s root system underground. The American chestnut survives by sending up stump sprouts that grow in logged or otherwise disturbed sites, but these sprouts succumb to the blight and die back to the ground before reaching the forest canopy or reproducing.
To learn more about The American Chestnut Foundation, visit acf.org/.