The American chestnut back-cross orchard in Guilford is a partnership between the Guilford Conservation Commission and the American Chestnut Foundation.
Located next to Nut Plains Park on Nut Plains Road in Guilford, Connecticut, this 2+ acre site is maintained by the Connecticut Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation in cooperation with the Guilford Conservation Commisssion. The site is on town-owned land that was used formerly as a trial community garden plot. After 20 initial test tree plantings proved to be successful, in 2008 the GCC agreed to maintain the orchard with the support of Guilford’s Board of Selectmen. In 2010 close to 300 chestnuts were planted, with help from local Cub Scouts, Bishop’s Orchards, and many other volunteers. The grove features a mixture of American Chestnut hybrids, as well as Chinese Chestnuts, which act as controls in the evaluation of the performance of the hybrids.
As this is a long-term project, volunteers to help maintain the grove, its fencing, and the tree specimens are always appreciated. Special skills or knowledge are not required – only the desire to help one of the most valuable and beloved trees to come back from the brink of extinction. For information about volunteering, please contact John Blossom at 203.293.8511.