Since the American Chestnut tree has been virtually eliminated by blight, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is offering blight resistant Chinese Chestnut seedlings to Fairfax County residents for a small handling fee. Orders are being taken now, and the seedlings will arrive in March. The Chinese Chestnut tree grows as high as 40 feet on well-drained soil and produces edible nuts.

Orders also are being taken now through March 30 for free seddlings of Autumn Olive, Bicolor Lespedeza, and Bristly Locust for county residents or groups who have erosion problems, want to improve wildlife habitat or need screening from sights or sounds. All of these seedlings are deciduous, and each blooms at a different time during the summer. They will be available for pick up in April.

The Autumn Olive will grow to a height of 15 feet. It has yellow, scented flowers and red berries that appear in the spring and fall. Bicolor Lespedeza grows six to eight feet high, flowers in late summer and is ideal for planting on sites where erosion problems exist. The Bristly Locust grows five to seven feet high and flowers during May and June.

A limited supply of plants is available. Orders should be placed early by calling the district office at 591-6660.