Many 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!
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.
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!