Merritt Road Enterprises
By Nick Machinski
Morley Stevenson, whose farm was verified in its Cropping and Forest, Wetland and Habitat system, has been a great asset to the WCCD for many years. He has assisted during WCCD’s tree and native plant sales. Morley may have even helped you fill one of your orders. A couple years ago, Morley was able to have a Forestry Management Plan written for 34.7 acres of his property. This document provides guidance for Morley as he continues to manage his habitat area. But Morley has also been working on another project for a few years: Chestnuts.
The American Chestnut used to be a very common tree in North America. In the early 1900s a blight came to the continent and decimated the American Chestnut population. It was like today’s Emerald Ash Borer, which has left the skeletons of many dead ash trees throughout Michigan forests. However, Morley has been planting a hybrid variety meant to be resistant to the blight. Though the orchard is young, it is a niche market that Morley is getting into, one that has the potential to be of high value down the line.