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Chestnut Restoration

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Title: Chestnut Restoration


1
Chestnut Restoration
Yvonne Federowicz Bruce Goodsell Harvey Perry The
American Chestnut Foundation
  • Brief History of Chestnut and the Blight
  • The American Chestnut Foundation
  • The State Chapters
  • TACF 23rd Annual Meeting

Presentation Outline
2
American Chestnut(Castanea dentata)
  • Ranged from Maine to Georgia and west of the
    Mississippi River
  • Over 200 million acres

3
American Chestnut
  • Early in the 20th century, the Appalachian
    Mountains were full of giant chestnuts

4
American Chestnut
  • Early in the 20th century, the Appalachian
    Mountains were full of giant chestnuts
  • Chestnuts were abundant.

5
American Chestnut
  • Early in the 20th century, the Appalachian
    Mountains were full of giant chestnuts
  • Chestnuts were abundant
  • Tree diameters of 8 to 10 ft. across were often
    reported. One in Francis Cove east of
    Waynesville, NC was 17 feet across, 53 feet
    around.

6
American Chestnut
  • Early in the 20th century, the Appalachian
    Mountains were full of giant chestnuts
  • Chestnuts were abundant
  • Tree diameters of 8 to 10 ft. across were often
    reported. One in Francis Cove east of
    Waynesville was 17 feet across, 53 feet around.
  • Chestnut grew tall (up to 125 ft.) and straight
    -- often clear of branches up to 75 ft., making
    them ideal lumber

7
From Maine to Georgia?
  • A squirrel was said to be able to run through
    chestnut trees from Maine to Georgia without
    touching the ground.

8
American Chestnut
  • Chestnuts were an important wildlife food source,
    forming a staple for such animals as turkey,
    ruffed grouse, black bear and many others.

9
American Chestnut
  • Chestnuts were important to native Americans for
  • Food eaten raw, boiled, dried, roasted for a
    coffee-like beverage ground into flour
  • Shelter
  • Medicine
  • Transportation hollowed-out log canoes

10
American Chestnut
  • Chestnut was an extremely important commodity for
    the early European settlers of the Appalachians.
    Uses included
  • Nuts for food, mast, and cash
  • Tanning hides
  • Building materials

11
  • Chestnutting was a favorite Fall activity for
    both rural and urban residents
  • Thoreau noted that large numbers of New Yorkers
    went a-nutting each autumn
  • Rhode Islanders did too

1870 Chestnutting by Winslow Homer
12
American Chestnut
  • Chestnut wood was used extensively by the early
    settlers for cabins, shingles fences.

13
American Chestnut
  • Chestnut was also an important wood for furniture
    making.

14
American Chestnut
  • In the South, chestnut bark and wood were also
    used for tannin extraction. This industry lasted
    into the 1950s using dead chestnut.

15
Chestnut was extensively used for utility
poles and railroad ties in New England Some were
not even treated due to chestnuts rot resistance
  • Cape Cod Chestnut pole still in service since
    1928!

16
The Chestnut Blight
  • Blight probably arrived on Asian chestnuts in the
    1890s in Long Island
  • The blight was first discovered in 1904 in the
    Bronx Zoological Park, Bronx, NY.
  • Moving 50 mi/yr, within 50 yrs it had spread
    throughout chestnuts entire range
  • One canker produces billions of airborne spores

17
Rhode Islanders had Very little time to respond
to the blightWe are close to Ground
ZeroNearly half our forest was
chestnutPeople had to watch beloved, 10-ft
diameter trees die
18
The Chestnut Blight
  • People took time to identify the problem, then
    more time to decide what to do.
  • As the blight advanced, people decided to try to
    clear chestnut ahead in a firebreak zone.
  • It didnt work. Nothing worked.

19
The Chestnut Blight
  • As a result, federal agencies began to push for
    plant quarantines
  • By the 1950s, chestnut was virtually eliminated
    as a dominant forest tree

20
Local USDA History with Chestnut Blight
  • One of the first local USDA branch offices opened
    in the early 1910s at Brown University under
    Prof. James Franklin Collins
  • Early experiments at hybridizing Asian American
    chestnuts were planned
  • Collins also left us with hundreds of valuable
    local chestnut photographs

From Arbor Day, RI 1911
21
The Chestnut Blight
  • The blight is caused by a fungus, Cryphonectria
    parasitica (formerly, Endothia parasitica)
  • Chinese and Japanese chestnuts have evolved
    significant resistance
  • European chestnuts are somewhat more resistant
    than American chestnuts, which have low to no
    resistance

22
The Chestnut Blight
  • Blight enters the tree through the cracks typical
    of chestnut bark and through wounds
  • Luckily, chestnut roots are not affected and
    chestnut often resprouts

23
The Chestnut Blight
  • It forms a canker and quickly girdles the tree
  • American Chestnuts try to fight by increasing
    tannin production, to no avail
  • Asian chestnuts seem to have 3 genes involved in
    resistance

24
The Chestnut Blight
  • The blight fungus is devastating for a number of
    reasons
  • No effective resistance in American chestnut.
  • Abundant production of spores on diseased bark.
  • Multiple hosts chinkapins, oaks, shagbark
    hickory, red maple sumac.
  • Spores stick on birds and animals.
  • Adapted to a variety of environmental conditions.
  • Rapid host mortality preventing natural selection
    for host resistance.
  • Ability to survive on dried herbaceous material.

25
The Chestnut Blight
  • Some strains of the fungus have been found that
    are infected with a virus
  • These strains are capable of reducing the
    virulence of other strains and sometimes stop
    canker enlargement when introduced into wounds
    around canker

26
Hypovirulence
  • Has been very effective in Europe.
  • Has been somewhat effective at West Salem, WI

27
The Chestnut Blight
  • Two factors have help prevent American chestnut
    from total obliteration
  • The blight fungus cannot survive in soil.
  • American chestnut has a tremendous capacity to
    produce stump sprouts.

28
Chestnut Restoration Efforts
  • Brief History of Chestnut and the Blight
  • The American Chestnut Foundation
  • The State Chapters
  • The Future

Presentation Outline
29
The American Chestnut Foundationwww.acf.org
  • Founded in 1983 as a non-profit organization,
    largely supported by membership contributions.
  • Goal To restore the American chestnut tree to
    the eastern U.S. through a scientific program of
    breeding and cooperative research.
  • Primary approach is to use the backcross method
    of plant breeding to transfer blight resistance
    of the Chinese chestnut into American chestnut.

Dr. Charles Burnham
30
The American Chestnut FoundationFacilities
  • Headquarters Bennington, Vermont
  • Research Farms Meadowview, Virginia
  • Southern Appalachian Regional Office Asheville,
    North Carolina
  • Central Region Penn State
  • New England Region Yale University

31
The American Chestnut FoundationState Chapters
  • Alabama
  • Carolinas (NC/SC)
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts/Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Virginia
  • Vermont/New Hampshire

Map of Chapters?
32
The American Chestnut Foundation
Dr. Fred Hebard
  • Meadowview Research Farm
  • Wagner Farm established 1989
  • Price Farm Established 1996
  • 3rd Farm purchase in 2002

33
The American Chestnut Foundation
Control Pollinations
34
The American Chestnut FoundationChinese vs.
American Chestnut
35
TACFs Backcross Breeding Program
  • Each generation select for
  • Blight resistance
  • American characteristics

36
Chestnut Restoration Efforts in State Chapters
  • Brief History of Chestnut and the Blight
  • The American Chestnut Foundation
  • The State Chapters
  • TACF 23rd Annual Meeting

Presentation Outline
37
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38
The MA/RI Chapter - TACF
  • Founded in 2000
  • 425 members
  • Annual meetings and semi-annual newsletter
  • Breeding activities
  • 28 Orchards
  • 6,500 trees in the ground

Littleton
Moore state park
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
39
Mother Tree Programs in State Chapters Capture
Regional Diversity.
  • Find and pollinate large surviving trees that
    have many female flowers

65 Foot High Chestnut Tree on the Prescot
Peninsula of the Quabbin Reservoir
40
TACFs Backcross Breeding Program
State Chapters
41
How Utilities Help
Meeting Space
Provide Bucket Trucks for Pollinations
Wood Chips
42
Recent TACF Events
  • Planting of tree at White House, Arbor Day 2005

Picture
43
Recent Events
  • Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Forest
    Service.

44
Recent Events
  • Centennial Forest Service Event
  • Peabody Energy

45
Recent Local Events
  • Westerly Land Trust began an orchard in spring
    07

46
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47
More Recent Events
  • Planting and Exhibit at the Carter Center
  • Planting and Exhibit at the Smithsonian

48
TACF-23rd Annual Meeting Report
Forging Ahead At Meadowview
OCTOBER 19-22 ABINGDON MEADOWVIEW VIRGINIA
49
TACF 23rd National Meeting HighlightsMeadowview
Virginia
  • Wild Turkey Federation MOU
  • Science Review
  • Grant from National Science Foundation
  • Breeding Progress (Seed Plots)
  • Pew Foundation Grant
  • Science Presentations
  • TACF Growth

50
Wild Turkey Federation
  • Chestnut and turkeys go together!
  • 1800 Chapters in the US
  • Over 500,000 Members
  • Affiliates in Canada and Mexico
  • Memorandum of Understanding signed with TACF to
    help in the restoration of American Chestnut

51
Second Science Audit
  • Team of Internationally recognized scientists
    reviewed the TACF breeding program
  • Recommendations Overall very favorable.
  • Suggestions
  • Do more genetic research on the genes for
    resistance
  • Use less potent blight in screening techniques
  • At research farm, to continue back crossing to
    BC6 generation
  • Find name for end product and develop a
    commercial strategy to help reintroduction.
  • Develop more Chinese lines of resistance

52
Chestnut Genome Project
  • Grant to begin work on mapping the Chestnut
    Genome.
  • 1.2 Million just begins the process
  • Work will be done multinational group of
    Scientists.
  • TACF and Connecticut Agricultural Station will
    provide Chestnut material
  • Purdue, Syracuse, North Carolina State and Penn
    State will be involved in the project

53
Meadowview Breeding Program Progress
  • Seed Plot Stage BC3 F3
  • Large Surviving American Orchard Bank
  • Additional farm land purchase for seed orchards
  • Bob Paris is looking for new lines of Chinese
    resistance

54
Seed Plots for BC3 x F2 Nuts
The two best survivors of each 150 tree plot
become producers of BC3 F3 seed when open
pollinated. This generation will be put back
into the forest and breed true for blight
resistance!
Inoculated BC3F2
1 foot spacing
Two-year-old plot
55
LSA (Large Surviving American) OrchardVA
56
  • Grant used for
  • Science Review
  • Three Years for New England Regional Breeding
    Coordinator
  • Leila Pinchot

57
Science Presentations
  • Key Note Fred Paillet
  • Contribution of the West Salem Stand to Chestnut
    Science

58
Workshops Biology of the Tree (Bob Paris) Public
Relations (Meghan Jordan, Jeanne Coleman) Pests
and Diseases (Sara Fitzsimmons)
59
Science Presentations
  • Place Names and American Chestnut Restoration
  • Dr. Songlin Fei
  • NSF Project and Chestnut Genetics
  • Dr. Paul Sisco
  • Evolutionary History of American Chestnut Species
  • Dr. Fenny Dane

60
TACF Growth
  • 1983 founded with 25 members and a 5,000 budget.
  • Today in 2006 5,600 members and a budget of 1.6
    million

61
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62
Breeding efforts are progressing so that blight
resistant American chestnuts with will be ready
for forest restoration efforts over the next 3-10
years. RI/MA is closer to 5-8 years away.
A Chestnut Seedling Near The Quabbin Reservoir
Mother Tree
63
Reforestation
  • The Massive Undertaking of Reintroduction of
    Chestnut into the Forest
  • USDA Can Help This Future Project!

64
Please Visit
www.acf.org
masschestnut.org
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