If you want to get some American chestnuts, we can help!
The Maine Chapter of TACF collects seeds from native chestnut trees in Maine every year for:
- Research purposes
- Fedco Trees seedling sales
- Volunteers and new member rewards
- Fundraising sales to support our work
Plant sooner or later?
The transgenic Darling 58 chestnut holds promise for a blight resistant American chestnut in the future. Until then, any American chestnut available for sale will be susceptible to blight. It might live 10-30 years without disease, long enough to flower and produce nuts. When it flowers D58 transgenic pollen might be available to pollinate your tree. You could produce your own nuts that grow into blight resistant trees!
Chinese chestnuts and hybrids sold commercially might resist blight but won’t necessarily thrive in northern climes.
However, there are good reasons to start planting sooner than later:
- Your native chestnut trees can provide an ideal nursery shelter for planting blight-resistant chestnuts when they become available.
- Growing native chestnuts now lets you test the suitability of your site. Soil must be acidic and well drained.
- You can learn now what is needed to get good growth later.
- Growing ME native chestnuts helps us preserve local genetic diversity.
- Happy chestnuts can grow 4 feet in height and 1” diameter per year!
- In 10 to 20 years, your native chestnuts will be producing nuts, poles, and small saw-logs.
How to get seeds or seedlings
Here are ways to get chestnuts to plant and enjoy:
- Join the Maine Chapter of TACF and receive a new member reward of 10 seeds.
- Lend a hand at a volunteer event and receive 10 seeds.
- TACF members receive an invitation to buy our limited supply of pure American seeds or seedlings if/when available.
- Viles Arboretum in Augusta and Ellis’ Greenhouse in Hudson ME sell seedlings during the summer months.
- Buy 2-yr-old Maine chestnut seedlings from Fedco Trees. Fedco buys seeds from the ME Chapter and gives us back $3 per tree.