Plant a Tree
If you are interested in acquiring seed (or seedlings) from our organization to plant there are a number of options listed below. For specific planting instructions once you have acquired seeds/ seedlings you can get more information about growing and nurturing your new seeds from the American Chestnut Foundation best management practice guide to growing trees. It’s targeted to the Restoration Program, but has helpful hints for growing any American chestnut.
Pure American chestnut seeds
Our organization does not currently offer any of our material for sale. We do provide pure American chestnut seeds to our members on an annual basis, typically following our Spring Meeting in March or April. The quantities available depend on the annual harvest, but usually run between 20 to 50 seeds per member.
Learn More About Membership
If you are interested in restoration chestnuts (our most advanced, potentially blight-resistant material), there are currently two pathways for obtaining them. The advanced material is offered to long-term members on a rolling basis. If you are a member, you can contact our national office at 828-281-0047 to find out where they are in that process. Quantities depend on harvest, but for this material, individuals usually receive between 2 to 10 seeds.
Learn More at the Membership Page
The Connecticut Chapter of TACF manages an ever growing number of back-cross orchards to grow out our fourth generation BC3F1 Clapper line of resistant American chestnut backcross material. The CT Chapter currently has seven backcross orchards distributed throughout the state, likely one near you. We are not creating any additional backcross orchards since we are nearing the end of that phase of the program, but if you are interested in having an orchard, consider either a Restoration Orchard described above, or planting a Seed Orchard described below.
Learn More about Backcross Orchards
Planting a Seed Orchard
As our back-cross orchards reach maturity, their trees are being selected for maximum blight resistance, and bred to produce the trees of our next generation of orchard, the seed orchard. The 3000 nuts typically planted in a seed orchard (representing crosses between all the lines in our backcross orchards) are monitored and tested for resistance. We remove the trees with lower resistance, until only those very resistant and American chestnut looking trees remain. These 15/16ths “American” trees are morphologically indistinguishable from the native American chestnut trees. The key difference is that the resistance to the blight has been bred into them from the Chinese chestnut. Those few trees (about twenty or less) remaining will intercross and produce seed that is expected to grow trees with high resistance to the chestnut blight and the ability to breed true to resistance. We are currently seeking one acre seed orchards sites throughout CT.
Planting an orchard
If you are interested in planting an orchard for our breeding program, please contact our Regional Science Coordinator, Kendra Gurney, at 802.999.8706 or email@example.com.