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AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREE DEMONSTRATION PLANTING
The Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association (LSCWA) has partnered with the Sunbury Eagles Lodge 503 to support
planting of American type chestnut trees  on  land owned by the LSCWA. This volunteer watershed group is developing the
entire property with a goal of providing environmental education by emphasizing the value of conserving our natural
resources. Planting chestnut trees enhances ecological diversity and aids The American Chestnut Foundation’s development
of blight resistant trees. This location has proven to be a very successful site for the chestnut trees. This joint effort aims to
enhance our environmental future.
MILLION DOLLAR  SITE READY TO
PLANT
PLANTED SEED IS THE LIGHT
OBJECT TO THE RIGHT OF WHITE
ARROW
WE PLANTED OUR FIRST OPEN
POLLINATED NUTS IN 2012.  THIS
IS ONE OF THESE AT 3 MONTHS!
HOW CHESTNUT TREES START
UPPER AND LOWER ROWS OPEN
POLLINATED, CENTER ROW  
RESTORATION PLANTINGS
SHELTER WILL KEEP THE SEED
MOIST UNTIL IT GERMINATES
READY TO SPROUT AND BECOME
A MIGHTY CHESTNUT TREE
HOLES READY FOR MORE
RESTORATION PLANTINGS IN 2017
DIGGING HOLES FOR
POTENTIALLY BLIGHT RESISTANT
RESTORATION NUTS IN 2013
RESTORATION TREE GROWING TO
TOP OF SHELTER LATER IN 2013
3 YEAR OLD RESTORATION
CHESTNUT TREE IN MAY 2017
1 YEAR OLD RESTORATION
CHESTNUT TREE IN MAY 2017
4 YEAR OLD CHINKAPIN/AMERICAN
CROSS
A NEW GENERATION OF
RESTORATION CHESTNUTS
ANOTHER TREE WITH AN
ADVANCED BLIGHT CANKER
4 YEAR OLD RESTORATION
CHESTNUT TREE IN  MAY 2017
ONE OF OUR ORIGINAL OPEN
POLLINATED TREES WITH BLIGHT.
NOTICE THE NEW SPROUT
COMING OUT BELOW THE BLIGHT
CANKER
THIS TREE HAS A CANKER AT THE
GROUND LINE. AGAIN NOTICE THE
SPROUTS COMING OUT AT THE
GROUND BELOW THE CANKER
THE DEER SURELY LIKE THE
TASTE OF CHESTNUT TWIGS
THIS TREE HAS A CANKER AT THE
GROUND LINE AND SENT UP
NUMEROUS SPROUTS GIVING THE
TREE THE APPEARANCE OF A
SHRUB
THIS TREE PRODUCED NUTS AT 3
YEARS OLD, NOTICE NUT BURR TO
LEFT OF TREE.  IT NOW HAS
BLIGHT BUT MAY STILL PRODUCE
NUTS FOR A YEAR OR SO.
ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN SEEING THE ORCHARD ARE INVITED TO VISIT OUR ORCHARD
LOCATED AT 128 HOUSER ROAD IN THE AUGUSTAVILLE AREA.
  For the people of the Eastern United States, the American Chestnut was economically important.  It is estimated that in
some places, such as the Appalachian Mountains, one in every four hardwoods was an American chestnut. Mature trees
often grew straight and branch-free for 50 feet and could grow up to 100 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 14 feet at a few
feet above ground level. For three centuries many barns and homes near the Appalachian Mountains were made from
American chestnut.  The reddish-brown wood was lightweight, soft, easy to split, very resistant to decay; and it did not
warp or shrink. Because of its resistance to decay, industries sprang up throughout the region to use wood from the
American Chestnut for posts, poles, piling, railroad ties, and split-rail fences. Its straight-grained wood was ideal for
building log cabins, furniture, and caskets. The fruit that fell to the ground was an important cash crop. Families raked up
chestnuts by the bushels and took wagon loads of them to sell in nearby towns. The people even cooked the chestnuts
for their own use. The bark and wood were rich in tannic acid which provided tannins for use in the tanning of leather.
Many native animals fed on chestnuts, and chestnuts were used for livestock feed.
   The chestnut blight is a fungal infection affecting the American Chestnut tree that had a devastating economic and
social impact on communities in the eastern United States. The fungus is spread by wind-borne spores.   In the first half of
the 20th Century it killed an estimated 4 billion trees. Infection is local in range, so some isolated American chestnuts
survive where there is no other tree within several miles.  The chestnut blight was accidentally introduced to North
America around 1904 from Japanese nursery stock.   By 1940, most mature American chestnut trees had been wiped out
by the disease.
   Current efforts are under way by the Forest Health Initiative to use modern breeding techniques and genetic
engineering to create resistant tree strains, with contributions from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry,
Penn State University, the University of Georgia, The American Chestnut Foundation, and the US Forest Service.
One of the most successful methods of breeding is to create a back cross of a resistant species (such as one from China
or Japan) and American chestnut. Researchers identified 2 or 3 genes that allow for blight resistance, and are focusing on
giving the American Chestnut hybrids only those genes from the Chinese or Japanese chestnut. The two species are first
bred to create a 50/50 hybrid. After three back crosses with American chestnut, the remaining genetic makeup is
approximate 1/16 that of the resistant tree, and 15/16 American. The strategy is to select blight-resistance genes during
the back crossing, while preserving the more wild-type traits of American chestnut as the dominant genetic composition.
Thus, the newly bred hybrid chestnut trees should reach the same heights as the original American chestnut. Many of
these 15/16 American chestnut hybrids have been planted along the East Coast. For the hybrids to do well, they need
areas with decent drainage and abundant sunlight. Meeting these needs can be hard to do, so not all restoration areas
have been successful with hybrid survival.   Ref: Wikipedia

The Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Assoc. Demonstration orchard is located in the former native range of the American
Chestnut and has proven to be an ideal location for their growth.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT AMERICAN CHESTNUT TREES AND WHAT IS BEING DONE TO RESTORE THESE
MAGNIFICENT GIANTS FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO AN ARTICLE ON THE AMERICAN FORESTS WEBSITE
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TACF's EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH POTENTIALLY BLIGHT
RESISTANT CHESTNUT TREES, FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW
3 YEAR OLD RESTORATION
CHESTNUT PRODUCED FLOWERS.  
THESE MAY BE MALES, BUT THE
FEMALES MAY NOT BE PRODUCED
UNTIL NEXT YEAR
RESTORATION CHESTNUT PLANTED
MID MAY HAS SPROUTED BY LATE
JUNE
ANOTHER RESTORATION
CHESTNUT PLANTED MID MAY HAS
ALSO SPROUTED BY LATE JUNE