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Forestry program to plant American chestnut grove on Waynesboro Watershed land

4/26/2010 —

Penn State Mont Alto Forest Technology faculty and students, volunteers from The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF), and many other volunteers will be planting an American chestnut grove (Castanea dentata) from seeds today and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. near campus. More than 600 American chestnut seeds that have been cross-pollinated with Chinese chestnut to produce blight-resistant trees will be planted (see here for more information on the back-crossing program). 

The planting will take place on the property of the Borough of Waynesboro, east of the Newman Road extension, south of Cold Springs Road in Adams County, Hamiltonban Township (Coordinates: 39.8337 & -77.45535). The borough has supported the planting project and paid for a 2.5-acre deer fence to enclose the trees to be planted on an 8’ by 8’ plot.

The seeds are the most advanced material (B3F3 cross) from TACF (see here for more information). According to Dave Armstrong from the Pennsylvania Chapter of TACF, this could be the first test site for the most advanced TACF material. If the F3 testing prove to be acceptable, the Waynesboro Watershed site could be converted into a seed orchard and provide reforestation seed for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Forest Technology Instructor Craig Houghton says, "This exciting project, a partnership between several organizations, will hopefully be one of the last steps in bringing the American chestnut back to the forests of Pennsylvania and the Appalachian region from Mississippi to Maine and into Canada."

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