The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) is comprised of 16 chapters located throughout the native range of this iconic tree. Chapter volunteers contribute time and energy in support of regional breeding programs, independent research, local education programs, and member recruitment activities. Our chapter system continues to expand in proportion to the increasing level of local enthusiasm to restore this iconic species.
TACF’s chapter system helps preserve the regional diversity of the American chestnut throughout its original range, which spanned from Maine to Georgia, and possibly even to Florida, and west to the Mississippi River. Each tree had a genetic make up that evolved to enhance its survival. From flowering early in the south, to cold-weather resistance in the north, each region was unique. Preserving the genetic material of the American chestnut is crucial to TACF’s effort to breed a blight-resistant tree. TACF volunteers and members work diligently toward this effort. They pollinate and harvest surviving trees and plant regional orchards of backcrossed seedlings. Chapters maximize resources at the local level, develop programs uniquely designed to each region, and promote our mission – to restore the American chestnut to its native woodlands along the eastern United States.