Kentucky Chapter

About Us

Hello from the Kentucky Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation! 

 We are an active group of Volunteers who work together to help the national effort to restore the American Chestnut back into its native forests.  With our Partners, we manage several orchards of hybrid American Chestnuts and full American Chestnuts that facilitate breeding options. 

Wild American Chestnuts are still found across Kentucky in their native range forests.   While an extremely small number of wild American Chestnut trees survive the blight to grow large enough to produce flowers and burrs, there are many sprouts that grow from the roots of the original trees.   Take a look at the original American Chestnut Range Map.   American chestnuts like well-drained, acidic sandstone soils.   They do not like low acidic clay soils or soils and low areas that hold water.

We invite you to help search for wild Americans and to record them on the free ‘TreeSnap’ app.   Or you can contact us via our Kentucky Chapter Facebook Page to let us know their location and if you need help to ID that your trees are full American or a Chinese or Japanese Chestnut, or a hybrid with mixed parentage.   You can see general locations of wild American Chestnuts found and mapped to date on the TreeSnap website:     https://treesnap.org/       Choose “MAP” from the menu to see general tree locations, with the knowledge that the app moves the exact tree locations by about five miles each to protect the individual trees and the landowners.   With the “OBSERVATION CATEGORY” filter box, select “American Chestnut” to remove the visual clutter of other species that are also entered into TreeSnap.

JOIN US.   Become a Member.    Become a Volunteer.    Click on the BECOME A MEMBER button to the right to simultaneously join the national TACF organization, plus the Kentucky Chapter.      You will enjoy working beside and developing friendships with many other conservation minded people who are taking a variety of actions to do our part, along with our sister Appalachian state chestnut chapters, to restore this iconic American tree. 

Kentucky Chapter Menu

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Our Future Generation

For the second year, on July 5th, Scott Freidhoff and Terry Stamper provided a Chestnut program for the Biology Group of the Governor’s Scholars students at Morehead State University. There were 19 students plus an RA and their Instructor.

An indoor PowerPoint presentation introduced the scholars to the American Chestnut story. Outside the KY Foresty and Wildlife office building, the students were introduced to a 15/16ths American and a 50/50 Chinese/American hybrid that Terry planted years ago.

Scott and Terry led the students along one of the Daniel Boone National Forest trails above Rodburn Park to search for American sprouts. They stopped the scholars near a sprout and let them search until they found it.

These students were very interested in learning the story of the American Chestnut!

Kentucky Division of Forestry Hannah Leeper TACF
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Our Future Generation

For the second year, on July 5th, Scott Freidhoff and  Terry Stamper provided a Chestnut program for the Biology Group of the Governor’s Scholars students at Morehead State University.  There were 19 students plus an RA and their Instructor.  

An indoor PowerPoint presentation introduced the scholars to the American Chestnut story.  Outside the KY Foresty and Wildlife office building, the students were introduced to a 15/16ths American and a 50/50 Chinese/American hybrid that Terry planted years ago. 
 
Scott and Terry led the students along one of the Daniel Boone National Forest trails above Rodburn Park  to search for American sprouts.  They stopped the scholars near a sprout and let them search until they found it.  

These students were very interested in learning the story of the American Chestnut!

Kentucky Division of Forestry Hannah Leeper TACF

2024 Pollen Collection and Pollinations for KY Chapter were completed June 25th at Kentucky Division of Forestry's Morgan County Tree Nursery, near West Liberty, KY.

We had applied 82 "Pre Bags" on June 17th across five different trees to prevent random pollination of female flowers. Applied four different Kentucky pollens:

Pollens from: Adair County, Berea College Forest, Bell County and Gray's Arch in Red River Gorge, DBNF.

Teams for both events: KDF's Terry Stamper, Derek Stamper and intern Randall Caudill plus KY TACF's Ken Darnell with support from KDF's Charlie Saunders and Suzy Knott *****

We hit the flowers during their "Prime Time" **** Ken updated our "KY Prime Flower Maturity Tracker" with the dates of all the trees visited this year, as compared to prior pollination season.

Will also update the KY Pollination Spreadsheet for 2024.

Now we wait until October to go back to all of our pollinated trees to determine our per centage of pollination success * * * * * * 😎

Kentucky Division of Forestry Hannah Leeper TACF
... See MoreSee Less

2024 Pollen Collection and Pollinations for KY Chapter were completed June 25th at Kentucky Division of Forestrys Morgan County Tree Nursery, near West Liberty, KY.

We had applied 82 Pre Bags on June 17th across five different trees to prevent random pollination of female flowers.    Applied four different Kentucky pollens:

Pollens from:       Adair County, Berea College Forest, Bell County and Grays Arch in Red River Gorge, DBNF.

Teams for both events:        KDFs Terry Stamper, Derek Stamper and intern Randall Caudill plus KY TACFs Ken Darnell        with support from KDFs Charlie Saunders and Suzy Knott   *****

We hit the flowers during their Prime Time    ****  Ken updated our KY Prime Flower Maturity Tracker with the dates of all the trees visited this year, as compared to prior pollination season.

Will also update the KY Pollination Spreadsheet for 2024.

Now we wait until October to go back to all of our pollinated trees to determine our per centage of pollination success       * * * * * *       😎 

Kentucky Division of Forestry Hannah Leeper TACFImage attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

Collecting Pollen in Berea College Forest

Busy morning, June 24th, in Berea College Forest with Clint Patterson, Glenn Dandeneau, Natasha Caldwell (Berea College Senior in Environmental Science), Ken Darnell and "Henry"

Clint and Team have done a great job of thinning out low value trees such as red maple and sourwoods in much of his 20 acre "in situ" wild American Chestnut Orchard, over the last few years. His Americans are growing nicely, with several producing catkins. We visited six different trees with catkins. The "opened up" (to sunlight) American Chestnuts are growing straight and tall, making difficult to get to the top of the trees to pollinate female flowers. We were able to use Ken's ladder and extension pole to collect catkins whose pollen will be applied to some Morgan County Orchard's full American flowers on Tuesday June 25th.

We are seeing "close by" pairs of trees beginning to flower this year. Our hope is to see some natural pollination in 2025.
... See MoreSee Less

Collecting Pollen in Berea College Forest

Busy morning, June 24th, in Berea College Forest with Clint Patterson, Glenn Dandeneau, Natasha Caldwell (Berea College Senior in Environmental Science), Ken Darnell and Henry

Clint and Team have done a great job of thinning out low value trees such as red maple and sourwoods in much of his 20 acre in situ wild American Chestnut Orchard, over the last few years.    His Americans are growing nicely, with several producing catkins.     We visited six different trees with catkins.   The opened up (to sunlight) American Chestnuts are growing straight and tall, making difficult to get to the top of the trees to pollinate female flowers.   We were able to use Kens ladder and extension pole to collect catkins whose pollen will be applied to some Morgan County Orchards full American flowers on Tuesday June 25th.

We are seeing close by pairs of trees beginning to flower this year.    Our hope is to see some natural pollination in 2025.Image attachmentImage attachment
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Latest News

Using Pollen from Land Between The Lakes

Using Pollen from Land Between The Lakes

WE’RE SO HAPPY …….. RETURNED TO STEVE HARTMAN FULL AMERICAN ORCHARD, SCOTTSVILLE, KY near Tennessee Border to apply pollen from three LBL wild Americans, harvested, processed and stored last June by Lee Grace, UK Forestry Technician, from trees previously TreeSnapped...

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KY TACF Partnership with USFS Daniel Boone National Forest

KY TACF Partnership with USFS Daniel Boone National Forest

Thank you Scott Ray for inviting us to attend DBNF Annual Meeting held at Berea College Dr. Ellen Crocker, Scott Ray, and Ken Darnell, KY TACF Board Members, conducted a presentation on TreeSnap and the State University of New York's "Darling 58" transgenic American...

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