Indiana News

Pure American chestnut harvest at Duke orchard

Duke orchard is a germplasm conservation orchard started with a generous contribution from Duke Energy Company. Many of the trees have produced nuts for a number of years. Some years pollen is applied in spring to produce controlled crosses. This year the trees were open pollinated which means that trees were pollinated by pollen from other chestnuts in the orchard without pollen from specific trees being applied to specific mother trees.

Today, October 6, 2022, volunteers and staff harvested the nuts that resulted from the open pollination. Caleb Kell, orchard staff, harvested chestnut burrs from the tall trees using a lift vehicle. Other volunteers performed the prickly task of removing the nuts from the burrs. These nuts will be stratified over the winter and grown into seedlings in spring at several locations. Many of these seedlings will be used as rootstock for grafting. When chestnut trees are found in the wild, small twigs, called scion wood, can be taken from the wild tree and grafted onto the rootstock and grown into mature chestnuts. Other nuts will be planted in germplasm conservation orchards. The genetic material of the Duke trees contains traits which will be very valuable in future breeding of blight resistant chestnuts.

Caleb Kell harvesting chestnut burrs from our tall trees.

Volunteer Claud Diehl removes the nuts from the painfully spiny burrs.

 

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Pictured here: An 1891 circular for American chestnuts reveals the value of chestnuts to our community of growers and the agricultural pipeline that fed our families and communities. This circular shows $271,527 in sales from TWO months of harvesting. Today's value would be almost $9 million! The seller of these chestnuts probably paid less than $2/bushel wholesale but market rate was about $10 to $12 per bushel. According to research, the legal weight limit of a bushel of chestnuts was about 50 pounds (in TN) and 57 pounds (in VA). This two months of harvesting amounted to approximately 1.3 million pounds of chestnuts. ... See MoreSee Less

Pictured here: An 1891 circular for American chestnuts reveals the value of chestnuts to our community of growers and the agricultural pipeline that fed our families and communities. This circular shows $271,527 in sales from TWO months of harvesting. Todays value would be almost $9 million! The seller of these chestnuts probably paid less than $2/bushel wholesale but market rate was about $10 to $12 per bushel. According to research, the legal weight limit of a bushel of chestnuts was about 50 pounds (in TN) and 57 pounds (in VA). This two months of harvesting amounted to approximately 1.3 million pounds of chestnuts.

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These numbers from 1981 are hard to believe. This was just prior to the introduction of chestnut blight in the USA when there was likely an abundance of trees and nuts. There is no header to indicate buyer / seller/ location. Dated Fall of 1890 is not a good business practice. The perfect print looks like it was done on a modern day grocery bag. Was this created by AI?

Where was the harvest? European or Japanese hybrids?

youtu.be/2VYviSHyB98

Meet Ciera! Our nursery manager at Meadowview Research Farms.

This interview is episode 1 of our new YouTube series "Behind the Bark."

Behind the Bark is a casual interview series by The American Chestnut Foundation to dive deeper into the lives of the wonderful people who are behind the mission of returning the iconic American chestnut to its native range.

The American Chestnut Foundation's Meadowview Research Farms
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One of the biggest questions we receive is "how do I submit a public comment, what am I supposed to say?" The answer is pretty simple: why does the American chestnut tree matter to you? When submitting a comment, you just need to be unique and authentic. Tell your personal story of why the American chestnut is important to you: maybe your family grew up with chestnut trees and can remember when they filled the forests, or maybe you're passionate about forest health and restoration, or maybe you grow chestnut trees on your land and want more.

The USDA looks for unique and custom comments. You don't have to be a scientist to support the restoration of the American chestnut! You can be anyone, all you need is a few sentences of why you support this effort. Check out these helpful tips and sample comments that we've compiled if you're still unsure of what to say. Be sure to submit your comment by midnight on Thursday, January 26.

Visit acf.org/resources-deregulation-darling58/ to learn more and to submit your comment.
... See MoreSee Less

One of the biggest questions we receive is how do I submit a public comment, what am I supposed to say? The answer is pretty simple: why does the American chestnut tree matter to you? When submitting a comment, you just need to be unique and authentic. Tell your personal story of why the American chestnut is important to you: maybe your family grew up with chestnut trees and can remember when they filled the forests, or maybe youre passionate about forest health and restoration, or maybe you grow chestnut trees on your land and want more. 

The USDA looks for unique and custom comments. You dont have to be a scientist to support the restoration of the American chestnut! You can be anyone, all you need is a few sentences of why you support this effort. Check out these helpful tips and sample comments that weve compiled if youre still unsure of what to say. Be sure to submit your comment by midnight on Thursday, January 26. 

Visit https://acf.org/resources-deregulation-darling58/ to learn more and to submit your comment.Image attachmentImage attachment+3Image attachment
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