The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF®) is offering a limited number of its most advanced and potentially blight-resistant seeds to both new and existing sponsor members for planting and testing.
This is the very first time any of these seeds have been made widely available to members and it comes on the heels of over 26 years of intense evaluation by scientists throughout the natural range of the chestnut. Members can test these seeds for blight-resistance and American growth characteristics.
When the chestnut blight came through the eastern US in the first half of the 20th century and killed nearly four billion American chestnut trees, all seemed to be lost for this once mighty species. Since 1983, TACF has remained focused on a seemingly impossible goal: to restore the American chestnut to the eastern United States. With this seed distribution program, TACF is one step closer to the restoration of this crucial species but there is much more to be done.
In spring 2008, TACF, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and University of Tennessee-Knoxville, planted five hundred potentially blight-resistant chestnuts on three national forests in the southeast. After one year, the seedlings are thriving in a forest setting.
The availability of these very same seeds to both long-time TACF members as well as new sponsor members is another step in a $16 million program that includes more than 60,000 trees and encompasses six generations of breeding.
For information on becoming part of this exciting new venture, please contact TACF at (828) 281-0047 for membership particulars and benefits.