American Chestnuts

The American Chestnut was once a dominant tree in the forests of the eastern states, until it was decimated by a blight fungus over a century ago. They were among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees. The nuts fed billions of wildlife, people and their livestock. The American Chestnut Foundation has been working on restoration efforts since 1983. This orchard will be our contribution toward those efforts. To learn more about the American Chestnut Foundation and to support their efforts, visit

Follow our progress as we establish an

American Chestnut Germplasm Conservation Orchard (GCO)

Subsoiled for better drainage

Broke up the big chunks

Drilled shallow holes

Started planting seedlings

Seedlings grown in Rootmaker bags

Removed from bag before planting

Seedling grown in Rootmaker pots

Lots of root tips and very little root circling

Must remember to keep good records

26 seedlings in the ground. Room in this little orchard for a total of 100 seedlings.

Germinated seeds

Next batch for fall planting

Planting hole for bareroot seedlings from ACF sale

Soil mixture

All purpose potting mix (left), native soil (top) and forest soil (right).

Planted and watered in