Flint PRR Orchard Expansion Completed

Great news!  The long-sought after expansion of the Austin Flint Phytophthora screening orchard has been completed.  This is a critically important project many years in the making.  Many thanks to all who have been involved with this project since its inception.

The following is a quick update on this project from Dr. John French, principle coordinator of the project, followed by some photos:

Just a quick update on the Prr orchard expansion at the Austin Flint North Ridge site. In the near future I will prepare a more detailed article for the newsletter.

New ground on the north side was bush-hogged, then twice worked up (disked) by Dr. Austin Flint, the second time Nov. 13.

On Nov. 14, the North fence line was relocated and new ground fabric laid down. The work force was:

Earl Ferguson

Tom Gosselin

Mark Stoakes

Jack Rogers

Zach Felix – Reinhardt faculty

Johnny Palozzi – GA chapter/Reinhardt intern

Andrew Hodgins – A. Flint/Reinhardt intern

John French

On Dec. 1, new stock was retrieved from Katie McKeever, FS Bent Creek (Asheville) by Mark Stoakes & John French; transported to Austin Fint property same day. Stock consisted of ~178 coded survivor seedlings from P. cinnamomi inoculation in greenhouse; rated, culled, & selected by Dr. Steve Jeffers (Clemson in early October; packed in 5 gal. buckets w/ ample potting mix & appearing in good shape. New stock included 12 C. dentata seedlings provided by Katie McKeever as prospective Prr-susceptible controls. All stock had been grown in 2″ diam sleeve tubes, thus facilitating planting with hand probe supplied by Dr. Flint. All stock (except C. dentata controls) tagged per code as determined at Bent Creek.

One Dec. 5, the new seedlings (190) were planted, tubes & stakes installed; grid layout recorded (later transcribed to spreadsheet) per code tags as supplied. The work force that day was:

Irv Barth

Frank Milner

Jordan Taylor – Reinhardt faculty

Steve Wallin

Zach Felix – Reinhardt faculty

Keith Ray – Reinhardt faculty

Andrew Hodgins – A. Flint/Reinhardt intern

John French

On Dec. 7, the new stock was watered in by Zach Felix and John French. Final cross-check on tag codes vs. spreadsheet grid. All appears well, ready for winter.

A few photos are attached below; more will be included in forthcoming report(s).

Once again, THANK YOU for every minute of your time to put this expanded Phytophthora field screening orchard in place, and to assure that it will be well managed going forward.

Best regards,

John French

We had just completed planting ~190 new chestnut seedlings (left to right): Irv Barth, Frank Milner, Jordan Taylor, Steve Wallin, Zach Felix, Keith Ray, Andrew Hodgins