Georgia Chapter

About Us

Our Mission

Our mission is to bring about the restoration of the American chestnut tree as a prominent part of Georgia forests.

The Georgia Chapter was founded to bring about the restoration of the American chestnut tree as a prominent part of Georgia forests by assisting the national foundation in its propagation efforts, by promoting public awareness through education and by supporting the scientific research efforts of TACF directed at restoring American chestnuts.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee


Jack Rogers

Vice President

Kathy Patrick


Zach Felix


Vince Payne

Tree Breeding/Preservation (Science Coordinator)

Dr. Caitlin Conn

Honorary Director

Mary Belle Price (posthumously)

Board Members

Tim Chesnut

Dr. Zach Felix

Dr. Scott Merkle

Ana Metaxas

Dr. Caitlin Conn

Taryn Heidel

David Keehn

David Green


The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) and the Georgia Chapter (GaTACF) seek out partners that will not only help further its chestnut restoration program but also bring attention to the importance of the chestnut in American history. These partners include major universities, private foundations and businesses, as well as state and federal government agencies. With plantings at high-profile sites such as the Carter Center, Callaway Gardens Preserve, and the Atlanta Beltline Arboretum Project, GaTACF has been able to attract significant support from many partners throughout Georgia.

Each of our partners offers a unique perspective on chestnut restoration and gives GaTACF the best possible opportunity to be successful in its efforts to bring the American chestnut back to the forests of Georgia.

Georgia TACF Partner Organizations

  • Atlanta History Center
  • Berry College
  • Bittersweet Gardens
  • Bottletree Bees
  • Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center
  • Carter Center
  • Charlane Plantation
  • Cloudland Vineyards
  • Dalton State College
  • Douglas County
  • Elachee Nature Science Center
  • Friends of Smithgall Woods State Park
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • Georgia State Parks
  • Georgia Forestry Commission
  • Georgia Governor’s Mansion
  • Georgia Piedmont Land Trust
  • Georgia State Botanical Garden
  • Kennesaw State University (Research Farm) 
  • Kistner Center
  • North Georgia Canopy Tours
  • Pettit Environmental Center
  • Rabun Gap Nacoochee School
  • Reinhardt University
  • Rising Fawn Gardens
  • Runnin’ Wild Farms
  • Smith-Gilbert Gardens
  • The Blueberry Farm
  • The Callaway Gardens Preserve
  • The Carter Center
  • Cherokee County Recreation & Parks
  • Sandy Creek Nature Center
  • The University of Georgia (UGA) Horticultural Farm
  • The UGA Mountain Research & Education Center (GMREC)
  • The UGA Warnell School of Forestry
  • The Southern Company (Georgia Power)
  • Toccoa Falls College
  • Trees Atlanta and the Atlanta Beltline Arboretum
  • University of North Georgia
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S.D.A. Forest Service
  • Vogel State Park
  • Young Harris College


  • Ailene Phillips Trust
  • Dr. Austin Flint
  • Berry College
  • Eleanor & Tom Ratchford
  • Georgia Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Georgia State Specialty Crops Grant
  • Lumpkin Coalition/Hemlockfest
  • Dr. Martin Cipollini & Kathryn Patrick
  • Mary Belle Price
  • Rome Rotary Clubs
  • Temple-Inland Foundation
  • Urban & Community Forestry Commission

Georgia Chapter Menu

Georgia Facebook

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A good number of trees at this EKU site in KY originated in the GA-TACF breeding program! So, they are "our" trees, too! ... See MoreSee Less

A good number of trees at this EKU site in KY originated in the GA-TACF breeding program! So, they are our trees, too!Image attachmentImage attachment

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

That's awesome!

Got to love the reversed picture T-shirt.

Nice looking orchard

The American Chestnut Foundation is seeking scion wood from wild American chestnut trees from the southern population. Population studies have determined that trees found in western TN and KY, GA, AL, and MS represent the southern population and are the most genetically diverse. The objectives of this collection are to:

🌱Conserve genetic diversity of unique and underrepresented populations of American chestnut through grafting

🌱Grow these grafted plants in favorable conditions (including growth chambers) to promote flowering and ease of pollen collection

🌱Future utilization of pollen and flowers to outcross transgenic chestnut

Goals for 2023: Gather around 100 sources from the South

•Coordinate with Jamie Van Clief at for the collection of this scion wood.

•Scion wood collection should be done during winter dormancy only, which is commonly marked by the loss of leaves or brown leaves dangling (flagged) on their branches. Ideally, collected between December 2022–January 2023.

•It may be necessary to visit sites twice: once, before winter dormancy to ensure species can be identified to the American chestnut, particularly in areas where they co-occur with chinquapin. Second, when trees have gone dormant to collect scion wood.

•Scion wood should be at least 3 inches long and contain 1 or more unopened buds. With nut grafting, the diameter of the scion is not a concern, but larger buds with space in between buds are preferred.

•Collect ten pieces of scion wood per tree, when possible. At a minimum, we are looking for about fifteen buds. However, use judgment when collecting from small trees to not jeopardize the tree's survival by over-collecting.

•Take GPS coordinates from each tree using the TreeSnap application for smartphones ( or with a GPS unit or smartphone. Ideally, trees have already been identified and entered into TACF’s dentataBase.

•Place scion wood from a single tree in a one-gallon sealable bag.

•For each tree, place a note card in the bag containing: data collected, county, state, latitude and longitude.
Previously used for breeding or not: Yes, No or Unknown
TreeSnap ID or wild tree code from Regional Science Coordinator (if applicable)
Public or private land (Do Not Trespass!)

•Before sealing, place the card in the bag, then roll the bag from the bottom to the top to remove excess air.

•Do not write on the bag as even permanent markers will fade or be scratched off during handling and storage. Temporary writing on bags is fine, but do not rely on them for storage.

• Do not place a damp paper towel in the bag. Moisture from the towel commonly causes mold during storage.

•If desired place them in damp (NOT WET!) peat moss in the bag. The peat moss should be damp enough that you can squeeze it into a ball but not so damp you can squeeze water out of it.

•While in the field, store scion wood in a cooler with cold packs and place it in the refrigerator's crisper drawer until shipping. Do not place it in the freezer.

•Please ship scion wood no later than 2-3 weeks after collection.


Ship on Sunday through Wednesday via 2-day shipping to the attention of Chance Parker. Do not ship on Thursday or Friday. Coordinate with Chance and Jamie Van Clief so everyone knows what has been shipped. Ship samples on cold packs and in small foam cooler, if possible.


Sealable gallon freezer bags
GPS unit or smartphone with TreeSnap (
Permanent marker for making notes on cards
Notecards or paper
Pruning shears and/or pole, depending on tree size
Cooler and cold packs

About Scion Wood

While trees are grafted just as the rootstock buds start to grow, the buds on the scion wood must be dormant at the time of grafting. Thus, February is an ideal time to collect scion wood for spring grafting.

After cutting scion wood, it can be sealed in polyethylene bags to prevent moisture loss and stored for three months at 32°F until grafting. Storage at lower temperatures in home freezers can damage the buds. Temperatures warmer than 32°F will shorten the storage life of the scion wood. Using scion buds that have begun to grow while in cold storage will result in grafting failure.
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Latest News

GA-TACF Annual Meeting May 13 2023

GA-TACF Annual Meeting May 13 2023

Calling all Georgia American Chestnut enthusiasts! The Georgia Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (GA-TACF) will hold its annual state meeting on May 13th, 2023, in Dahlonega. The meeting will be held at the University of North Georgia Health and Natural...

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GA-TACF Science Progress 2022

GA-TACF Science Progress 2022

2022 was a very productive year for the Georgia chapter of TACF and its many citizen volunteers.  Here is a quick summary of progress, starting with a summary of what we've been able to accomplish in the breeding program since 2006. Seed type Crosses American chestnut...

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So you want to plant some chestnuts?

So you want to plant some chestnuts?

We're happy to be hearing from so many folks like you who are interested in planting chestnuts on their property.  We’ve received a lot of requests for chestnut seedlings and that’s good news, since it indicates a high level of interest in restoring the American...

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