Georgia News

GA-TACF Annual Membership Meeting 2021

Please join our Annual Georgia Chapter Member Meeting on May 22, 2021, 10 am – 12 noon (via Zoom; details and URL at the bottom of this page)

Our special invited speaker will be Dr. Donald Davis, founding GA-TACF chapter president and author of the upcoming book “The American Chestnut”.  The agenda is copied below, and everyone (members and non-members alike) is invited to attend!  We’d love to “see” you all there!

Welcome and overview of 2020 and plans for 2021 (Kathy Patrick, President)

  1. Membership
  2. Outreach
  3. Transitions in leadership and member involvement         

Business

  1. Review and approval of May 2020 annual meeting minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
  3. Volunteers needed
    1. Social media
    2. Email
    3. Community outreach
    4. Wild tree cataloging/mapping
    5. Test/demo orchard coordinator
  4. Board member changes
    1. Thanks to Dale Higdon, John French, and Steve Barber, who have completed their terms
    2. Nominations and vote for new board members
      1. Vincent Payne (who is willing to serve as treasurer)
      2. Caitlin Conn (transitioning to the GA-TACF science coordinator position)
      3. David Keehn (founding board member)

Guest speaker –Dr. Don Davis

We are thrilled to include Dr. Don Davis as our guest speaker.  A founding member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation who served as chapter president from 2006 to 2008, Don is an independent scholar, author, and former Fulbright fellow.  His book, “The American Chestnut”, to be released in September, tells the story of the American chestnut from Native American prehistory through the Civil War and the Great Depression. Don documents the tree’s impact on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American life, including the decorative and culinary arts. The book discusses the importation of chestnut blight and the tree’s decline as a dominant species, and evaluates efforts to restore the American chestnut to its former place in the eastern deciduous forest, including modern attempts to genetically modify the species.  

Don’s talk will cover:

  1. the evolutionary history of the species
  2. the impact of chestnuts on Native American culture
  3. Henry David Thoreau’s relationship with the tree
  4. uses in furniture-making, building construction, tanning, and city-scaping
  5. the true origins of the chestnut blight fungus 
  6. the U.S. chestnut revival and restoration efforts 
  7. genetic resistance and the use of biotechnology to save the species

Don is currently employed by the Harvard Forest as a part-time research scholar and lives in Washington, D.C.

Introduction of Jamie van Clief, TACF Southern Regional Science Coordinator

Jamie is a former TACF intern and joins the organization as a full-time employee in June, 2021

Thank you Tom Saelli for serving as interim RSC to the Georgia Chapter!

Chapter Science Brief

  1. Martin Cipollini — overview of state-wide breeding program and near-term plans
  2. John French – Flint North Ridge Phytophthora screening orchard and allied projects
  3. Scott Merkle – somatic embryogenesis (cloning) and transgenic work at UGA

GA-TACF Volunteer of the Year Award

Zoom Link: https://berry.zoom.us/j/91221003068 Meeting ID: 912 2100 3068

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Meeting ID: 912 2100 3068

 

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If you live anywhere near Blairsville GA, we want to give you a heads up about a planting event On Tuesday Feb. 14, we plan to plant 20 pure American chestnut seedlings at a new site at the UGA Mountain Research and Education Center (GMREC). We are looking for a few folks to help out (not hard at all) and to potentially help look after the seedlings occasionally after planting. GMREC has a staff and local volunteer group, but it's always nice to have our GA-TACF members and others involved in such things. In any case, if you think you could help out, please let us know at gachestnut@gmail.com and we will put you on our shortlist of volunteers for that site. The alternate date will be March 2. ... See MoreSee Less

If you live anywhere near Blairsville GA, we want to give you a heads up about a planting event  On Tuesday Feb. 14, we plan to plant 20 pure American chestnut seedlings at a new site at the UGA Mountain Research and Education Center (GMREC).  We are looking for a few folks to help out (not hard at all) and to potentially help look after the seedlings occasionally after planting.  GMREC has a staff and local volunteer group, but its always nice to have our GA-TACF members and others involved in such things.  In any case, if you think you could help out, please let us know at gachestnut@gmail.com and we will put you on our shortlist of volunteers for that site. The alternate date will be March 2.

Comment on Facebook

What time will you start? I live a couple of hours away and might not be able to make an early start (plus, with Georgia weather, it might decide to snow that day).

Volunteers needed at the Flint orchard in Waleska this Friday Jan. 13!

This is a short notice request. Our new chestnut planting at the Flint orchard has come under attack from wild hogs. Our existing deer fence was not up to the task, so we are going to add some more robust wire fencing. We need about three sturdy helpers to help install the wire. We will meet at 10AM at the work shed area and car pool to the orchard site. Directions are below. Bring gloves, a snack if desired, appropriate clothing and footwear for the orchard, it may be muddy. We'll provide water, materials, and tools. Please let me know if you are able to assist.
Jack Rogers
GATACF Chapter President gachestnut@gmail.com

Directions to the site (Austin Flint Farm):
From Waleska, GA, home of Reinhardt University.
1) Head north on Rt. 108 (Fincher Road).
2) In about ¾ mile, turn left onto Pleasant Arbor Road.
3) In a ¼ mile, turn right onto Puckett Road.
4) In another ¾ mile, turn left onto Noah Road (at a bend in the road).
5) In about 250 yds, stay left on Noah Road at a fork.
6) Continue downhill to cross a bridge over a small stream and bypass a small home on the left. Continue up the hill, look for a barn and some work sheds on the right. Volunteers and/or signage will direct you to the orchard location from that point.
... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Dr. John French gives an on-the-spot lecture prior to the fence-fixing crew's work. Thanks so much for the help!! Photo courtesy of Tom Taylor.

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