New York Chapter

President’s Message

Hopefully, sometime in 2023, our truly blight-tolerant (i.e. resistant) American chestnut trees will be approved for distribution (pending decisions by federal regulators). At that time, we will have permission to distribute seedlings, pollen, or scions for grafting.

Many of our members have “mother” trees, which are flowering and ready to produce blight-tolerant offspring. All that is needed is the blight-tolerant material to cross with their mother trees. Anyone who does not have a mother tree and is interested in receiving one can contact me. I will do my best to supply you with nuts for planting.

As soon as blight-tolerant trees or pollen have approval for distribution, we would like them to be crossed with a variety of wild-type trees. It will increase the genetic diversity of the trees we restore to the forest. Your mother trees will help us achieve this goal. We are also looking for wild American chestnut trees to incorporate into our New York breeding program. If you know of one, please contact us. Additionally, you can input data for the tree in an app called TreeSnap.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the families of former NY-TACF members who have passed on and did not get to see “a truly blight-resistant American chestnut”. Their loyalty and support have helped make this dream come true for both us and our descendants.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has helped get us to our current milestone: all the past and present staff at SUNY ESF, the New York State members of TACF who have planted trees and collected nuts, and everyone who has contributed to the SUNY ESF American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project. They are all to be commended.

The next several years will be a great adventure once we have government approval to distribute blight-tolerant material. People will be able to plant blight-tolerant seedlings in their mother tree orchards, which hopefully will cross-pollinate and produce blight-tolerant nuts. But we will also be able to distribute blight-tolerant pollen to people who already have flowering trees. By hand-pollinating, people may be able to produce blight-tolerant nuts by the fall of 2023; if we get government approval soon enough to hand pollinate.

There is still a great deal of work to be done but I have great confidence that we have the expertise and dedication to achieve our ultimate goal: The reintroduction of a blight-tolerant American chestnut tree back into the forest.

Allen Nichols
President NY-TACF
NYChapter@acf.org

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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
... See MoreSee Less

Video image

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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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