We’ve been planting Kentucky nuts! And harvesting nuts from the Meades Landing Breeding Orchard. And we’re now testing advanced blight resistant Restoration 1.0 chestnuts.
The Kentucky Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (KY-TACF) hopes to find five to ten “Mother Trees” to pollinate each year. Where are we likely to find remaining trees? Look carefully at the range map on the right. Chestnut likes good drainage and acidic soils with lower clay content. Wet feet and river flood plains are not where you find or grow chestnuts.
The lifespan of each blooming American Chestnut tree found in Kentucky is brief, sometimes only a year from discovery, but each blooming tree can contribute valuable genetic diversity to the effort to breed a blight-resistant tree, incorporating the Chinese resistance genes.
Preserving the genetic heritage of our native trees is a primary priority in our work.
Our breeding orchards contain seedlings growing from these nuts for the next steps in chestnut restoration. If you are interested in growing chestnut trees, please contact us!
To the left is the Adair County American chestnut tree being pollinated. Chestnut trees are “self-infertile” and therefore isolated trees must be hand-pollinated to create seeds (and progeny). The Adair County tree is one of the largest survivors in the USA, with a diameter of almost three feet.
We run the “chestnut dating service” to ensure each tree contributes progeny for the future.
Click to see a KET slide show about the Adair County Tree.