Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

The sabbatical project continues, exploring all that Tyler Arboretum has to offer

A Visit to the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation

1 Comment

DSCN3293Many of you are aware that I am a faculty member at Penn State Brandywine, right across the way from Tyler Arboretum.  Several times a year, I make the journey to the Penn State University Park campus in State College – which also happens to be the home of the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (PA-TACF)!  I have volunteered at Tyler’s chestnut nursery, and I’ve helped bag the harvested chestnuts.  Now, I know to where those chestnuts are shipped!

The PA-TACF office is in the Forest Resources Laboratory Building.  On a sunny/windy morning, I headed over to meet with Chapter Administrator Stephanie Bailey.  Stephanie was incredibly kind to allow me to spend a couple of hours with her, and she took me around their facilities and over to the chestnut orchards on campus.  Stephanie was incredibly knowledgeable about the program and the activities of the chapter – for example, did you know that Tyler is one of more than 150 (probably closer to 200!) chestnut orchards for the PA-TACF???

I learned that the hybrid chestnut seed orchard at Penn State began in June 2002 as a partnership between the PSU College of Agriculture, PSU School of Forest Resources, and The American Chestnut Foundation.  The orchard began with 257 three-month old seedlings, with more being added each year.  There are now three orchards established in State College.

I’ll let the photos below tell the story of my visit!

The refrigeration units that house the chestnut seeds we harvest from Tyler.

The refrigeration units that house the chestnut seeds we harvest from Tyler.

I even found a bag with a "Tyler" label!

I even found a bag with a “Tyler” label!

Then it was out to one of the greenhouses to see the seedlings start their growth

Then it was out to one of the greenhouses to see the seedlings start their growth.

Then, it was time to head out to the orchards!  For those of you on top of the classification for the backcross breeding program, the chestnut trees at Penn State are BC3F2.

A beautiful view across the orchard.  You can see one of the plots, where 150 trees from each "family" (cross) are planted to ensure that at least oen of them is homozygous for blight resistance.

A beautiful view across the orchard. You can see one of the plots, where 150 trees from each “family” (cross) are planted to ensure that at least oen of them is homozygous for blight resistance.

Rows and rows of tubes to protect the seedlings put in place by volunteers (and at times, knocked down by groundhogs!).

Rows and rows of tubes to protect the seedlings put in place by volunteers (and at times, knocked down by groundhogs!).

I had so much fun going around and seeing the work being done by PA-TACF in State College.  Stephanie was an excellent host and was so enthusiastic!  She is the perfect person to represent PA-TACF, and I know our Tyler chestnuts are in excellent hands!

And feel free to view even more photos from my trip!

 

 

Author: Dr. G

Dr. Laura Guertin, Professor of Earth Science, Penn State Brandywine. Learn more at http://about.me/drlauraguertin

One thought on “A Visit to the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation

  1. I have found another link that talks about the Hybrid Chestnut Seed Orchard at Penn State – check it out! http://www.arboretum.psu.edu/research/orchard.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s