From the Vermont/N.H. chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation:

(For background, check my story from last July)

On May 1, 2021, 24 volunteers and local school students worked with the Southeast Land Trust (SELT) and the VT/NH Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) to plant 43 American chestnut saplings at the SELT Two-Rivers Reserve in Epping, NH.

This partnership recently evolved through the collaboration of Parker Sherman (SELT Land Manager), Dr. Tom Klak (University of New England Professor) and Tim Elliot (active TACF member from Southeast NH). It will greatly improve the effectiveness of restoration activities in the NH coastal region. Dr. Klak explained the Biotechnology approach to chestnut restoration being pursued by TACF. He also demonstrated proper tree planting techniques.

This planting is to test the site for its potential to support a Germplasm Conservation Orchard (GCO). If it is suitable it will the the third GCO created by the VT/NH Chapter. There is one in Plymouth, NH and one in Rutland, VT. The saplings used for the test are one, two and three year old trees from varying sources that were dug from the Plymouth orchard two days earlier by volunteers from the Chapter’s Biotechnology Committee.

GCOs are planted with wild American chestnut trees to conserve genetic diversity that will be essential for pollination with the transgenic chestnut tree produced by the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at SUNY Syracuse. This Biotechnology approach to chestnut restoration is part of the TACF “3-BUR” Program. The other approaches are Breeding and Biocontrol. Applications for Federal approval to distribute the transgenic tree are currently being processed. Once approved, the wild trees growing in GCOs will be pollinated with transgenic pollen

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