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WV Chapter Hike to Locate American Chestnut Trees

Some members of the crew pose for a picture at the last stop on their hike to locate wild American chestnut trees. Photo by Mark Double

On May 31, TACF’s Mid-Atlantic Science Coordinator, Tom Saielli, and Adam Polinski of the Coopers Rock Foundation led the inaugural WV Chapter hike to find American chestnuts at Coopers Rock State Forest in Preston County. Polinski was the hike leader, knowing the location of the trees, and Saielli educated members about how to use the TreeSnap app. This app can be downloaded to any smartphone and it records information about the tree and its location (learn more here).

Tom Saielli explains differences in the leaves. Photo by Mark Double

Fourteen individuals gathered at 5:00PM for a short hike where Polinski knew of 8-10 American chestnuts. Along the way, members learned how to use TreeSnap and differentiate American chestnut from close relatives, American beech and chestnut oak. There was a lot of interaction among the hikers and many questions were answered. Important contacts also were made. WV Chapter member, Janis Boury, is also a member of the WV Master Naturalists and Janis agreed to put out our plea for finding wild American chestnut in that organization’s newsletter. Despite the afternoon rain, the evening was clear and comfortable. Many thanks to Tom and Adam for their efforts leading the group.