Backcross American chestnut seedling planting

On May 31 Carroll Ritter and Glenn Kotnik planted backcross American chestnut seedlings in clearings in a mature forest in southeastern Indiana. The forest is about 80 acres in size and has been preserved from cutting and handed down through many generations of a single family. The predominant tree species is black walnut,  many of which are 2 feet in diameter. Other species include tulip (Liriodendron tulipifera), black cherry and pawpaw. Ash trees were present but have died due to the emerald ash borer. Death of ash trees created clearings in the canopy and it was felt that this would be a good opportunity to introduce American chestnut as a replacement species.

The chestnuts were planted with galvanized steel fencing around each to protect the seedlings from deer.