A Range of Planting Programs

People cannot miss this most magnificent tree, if they have never seen it, or tasted its nuts, or sat under its shade.

pa180088Find and Hug Your Local American Chestnut

One goal of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation is to enable everyone to rediscover the American Chestnut in the next ten years.  This was and will be again the greatest of our Eastern forest trees.   This website will show many new trees –  trees that we can watch grow into the great giants that will hopefully shade our great-great grandchildren as well.

This tree is a surviving tree in the West Salem stand in Wisconsin, one of nine trees that spread to form a 90 acre chestnut forest.  By best estimates, the original Mother trees were planted along a fence row planted around 1907, and didn’t develop blight until the mid-1980s.

The West Salem stand has been studied extensively to look at ways to retard blight in susceptible trees.

In Louisville, we have been planting American chestnuts and American chestnut hybrids since 2007, and now have young trees to see.  In 2012, Metro Parks signed the TACF Germplasm Agreement (see GPA_2011.pdf) and this will enable KY-TACF to plant advanced hybrids with blight resistance.  Soon everyone will  have chestnuts to enjoy.

There are four ways to think of about types of chestnut plantings:


American Chestnut Plantings

Type of Planting

Sites

Purpose & Intention

Display Plantings

Urban,
Parks, Schools

Education, Recreation

Chestnutting

Orchards

Rural,
Farms, Tree Farms, University

(One
acre, irrigation, mowing)

Backcross
breeding

Nut production (Sustainable agriculture)

Hardwood improvement (Adding other disease management)

Habitat Plantings

Afforestation Sites

Forest Woodlots

Reclamation sites

(Small
to Large)

Testing Restoration and Blight
resistance.

Assessing
mixed planting competitiveness.

Conservation
ecology: impact on other species.

Establishing
high value timber source.

Native
Chestnut Nurseries

Accessible sites for transplanting Kentucky stump
sprouts

Preservation of
trees from ecological areas in Kentucky for future breeding.

In all plantings, certain principles will apply.

Lesson One: Never plant one chestnut tree !

The most essential is that chestnuts are self-infertile, that is, in order to produce healthy and edible nuts, a tree needs another tree quite nearby that is not related. Therefore, all plantings need to have several chestnuts in a grove, and these chestnuts need to come from several sources.

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