Maryland Chapter

Black Hill Regional Park Orchard

This orchard was founded in 2010, originally as a demonstration orchard, but is now being converted to a mother tree orchard

For a list of the plantings as of June 2016 click here.

Address:
20930 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, Montgomery Co.

Directions:
Starting from Rt 270 at Germantown, go north on Rt 27 for 1 mile toward Damascus. Turn left on Rt 355 and go 0.8 miles to a left turn on Old Baltimore Rd. Take Old Baltimore 1.5 miles to a left turn into Black Hill Park. Take Lake Ridge Drive 1 mile to a right turn on Black Hill Rd.  Continue over the causeway and past the Park Police Complex. The orchard is beyond a sign that says ” authorized vehicles only” and in a field past a sharp turn in the road.  Note: See the Google map below.

Contacts:
Stan Fisher – Steward
Jen Scully, Park Naturalist, Black Hill Regional Park

Property owner:
Montgomery County Department of Parks

Plantings:

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Join us December 15 from 11:30AM – 1:00PM (EPT), for TACF’s next LIVE Chestnut Chat. TACF will share the latest updates about the status of the Darling transgenic American chestnut tree and new information since our last D58 Chestnut Chat in September. Panelists will present data, analyses, and frequently asked questions, then give participants an opportunity to ask their own questions. Visit the link in the comments below to learn more and sign up. ... See MoreSee Less

Join us December 15 from 11:30AM – 1:00PM (EPT), for TACF’s next LIVE Chestnut Chat. TACF will share the latest updates about the status of the Darling transgenic American chestnut tree and new information since our last D58 Chestnut Chat in September. Panelists will present data, analyses, and frequently asked questions, then give participants an opportunity to ask their own questions. Visit the link in the comments below to learn more and sign up.Image attachmentImage attachment

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For those wondering, SUNY-ESF continues this work and is still refining it. To publicly pull their funding like this is disgusting. The level of unprofessional behavior in today’s release is appalling! I’m moving my financial support to ESF.

I was just reading the the Darling 58 research will be discontinued.

EDIT As a member. I was pretty confused by what seemed to be a sudden abandonment of 1 of three 3 burrs in the plan, which was 3 burr. That's not the case, but one needs to dig DEEPLY into TACF's page to get an explanation as to why the decision is being made. See my other comment above. I'm not happy with how this was handled.

Deep, and I mean DEEP within TACF's "Darling58" performance page is an indication that they were not testing D58, but were testing a different line the whole time without knowing it: "In November 2023, through molecular analyses performed by partners at the University of New England and University of Maine, TACF learned that the OxO gene of all Darling 58 trees was on a different chromosome than expected (chromosome 4 instead of chromosome 7). Upon further and additional independent investigation, scientists confirmed that the trees they had been researching were in fact descendants of a different event in the Darling line in which the OxO gene had been inserted into a coding region, causing a deletion in a known gene. That research has also indicated that the homozygous state (when an individual plant inherits the OxO gene from both parents, which occurs in 25% of offspring) is lethal, and that a majority of homozygous offspring die in the embryonic stage." EDIT link to page :https://tacf.org/darling-58/ EDIT - The page mentions that "other better trees" are being focused on, reading even farther, it looks like TACF would like to focus on testing SUNY's "DarWIN" going forward, which has the oxo gene as wound inducible. Considering they would have to start testing all over again for D58, I guess it makes sense to just start with DarWIN. OPINION: It would have been better to say "whoops" and acknowledge that they were testing the wrong thing as the FIRST point in the conversation, then point to reduced growth of D58 in some trials possibly due to constant expression of oxo, and finally state that they were going forward with some of SUNY's most advanced trees since they might as well. The presentation should have come from a place of acknowledging how stuff was screwed up and continuing support of other transgene lines. Instead it comes across as abandonment. You have to go very VERY deep and make a little inference to get a solid grasp on what the situation is, and you shouldn't have to.

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The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) announced today that it will discontinue its development of the Darling 58 American chestnut due to significant performance limitations that, from TACF’s perspective, make it unsuitable as a restoration tree. Likewise, TACF is also withdrawing its support for several pending regulatory petitions that would authorize distribution of transgenic Darling trees outside permitted research plots.

To read the entire press release, visit the link in the comments. We'll be discussing this topic at length during the December 15 Chestnut Chat.
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The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) announced today that it will discontinue its development of the Darling 58 American chestnut due to significant performance limitations that, from TACF’s perspective, make it unsuitable as a restoration tree. Likewise, TACF is also withdrawing its support for several pending regulatory petitions that would authorize distribution of transgenic Darling trees outside permitted research plots.

To read the entire press release, visit the link in the comments. Well be discussing this topic at length during the December 15 Chestnut Chat.

25 CommentsComment on Facebook

For much more information about D58 and many frequently asked questions, please visit tacf.org/darling-58/

Wow, big news

Wow, this is so disappointing and must be a profoundly sad event for the long-time researchers. Let's hope one of the new, improved varieties can be brought forward for regulatory approval within my lifetime.

I am so sorry to hear this news. I am very curious for more info on the pollination. I look forward to the December chat Sending love to all

I know of a large mature chestnut tree in Louisiana. Anyone interested in looking into it? I have a dozen or so nuts from it

That's disappointing but the TACF should be commended for its openness and commitment to producing quality blight resistant trees. Im sure the dedicated folks at TACF and SUNY will continue to pursue the goal of wild chestnut restoration both through transgenics and hybridization. Maybe the Darling 58 could be improved with a few generations of selected breeding while simultaneously developing new transgenic lines? I'll leave it to the experts and hope for the best.

Best news I’ve heard in a long time from ACF. I saved the email to my favorites. I’ve been saying this all along. Transgenics might be the answer but it was way way way too fast

Disappointing news. The Darling 58 route is very likely still the best avenue for successful restoration of Castanea dentata.

This is really sad news.

For those wondering, SUNY-ESF continues this work and is still refining it. To publicly pull their funding like this is disgusting. The level of unprofessional behavior in this release is appalling! I’m moving my financial support to ESF’s work.

I remember reading that Darling 58 was said to have noticably slow growth compared to pure american chestnut. There is another transgenic construct that is wound responsive that may be much better. Constituitive expression of oxo is probably not the way to go when youre looking at forest restoration.

How effective is it ?

**EDIT TO ADD: SUNY announced they will continue to persue the Darling efforts without TACF. I know where my support will be going.** Will SUNY persue? The Darling 58 is 100% better than 100 years of failed hybridization.

So now what? What plan C for Chestnut 🌰 trees 🌳

So because D58 isn't 100% successful, it's being canned? Y'all realize nothing is 100% right? And there isn't exactly a great plan B... Seems poorly thought out

significant identity error in the propagation materials supplied to TACF. Independent confirmation now shows all pollen and trees used for this research was derived not from Darling 58, but from a different prototype, one which contains a deletion in a known gene,” says Pitt. We need to do better. I feel bad for the people who gave their money, their time and their effort only to be back to square one.

Well that’s awful news.

Disappointing!

If I understand the press release correctly, TACF is withdrawing support from the Darling 58 transgenic chestnut because they were erroneously given misidentified material. Why not get the error sorted and redo the trials?

Why can’t we just plant the Chinese chestnut? They are bigger husks n nuts 🌰 than American chestnuts. Why not introduce the Italian chestnut with an American 58..?

Shameful, utterly shameful

What the hell? All of that for nothing? What a waste. I guess I’m going over to the SUNY side to see some actual work getting done.

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We're hiring! TACF is seeking a Gifts and Records Specialist in our Asheville, NC office. We're accepting applications until December 15, visit the link in the comments to learn more about this position. ... See MoreSee Less

Were hiring! TACF is seeking a Gifts and Records Specialist in our Asheville, NC office. Were accepting applications until December 15, visit the link in the comments to learn more about this position.

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

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The American Chestnut Foundation is seeking scion wood from wild American chestnut trees from the southern population. Scion wood MUST come from previously verified American chestnuts. Population studies have determined that trees found in western TN and K1, 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 2024: Gather around 100 sources from the South

•Coordinate with Jamie Van Clief at jamie.vanclief@acf.org for the collection of this scion wood.
For more details- head to the link in the comments below.
... See MoreSee Less

The American Chestnut Foundation is seeking scion wood from wild American chestnut trees from the southern population. Scion wood MUST come from previously verified American chestnuts. Population studies have determined that trees found in western TN and K1, 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 2024: Gather around 100 sources from the South

•Coordinate with Jamie Van Clief at jamie.vanclief@acf.org for the collection of this scion wood.
For more details- head to the link in the comments below.

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

I have three mature chestnut trees on a property I just acquired. How does one go about getting it verified as a true American Chestnut tree. I am one hour West of Nashville TN if that qualifies.

so from Michigan no good?

Check out the Maine Chapter of TACF's booth at the Fryeburg Fair

This eagerly anticipated annual event, held each fall in the picturesque town of Fryeburg, Maine, attracts a staggering 170,000 attendees. Each year the Maine Chapter has a booth set up for people to learn about American chestnut.

This year, each person who signed up to become a new TACF member received two chestnut seedlings as part of the "Fryeburg Fair Special," and because of this, they welcomed 90 new members. This brings the total number of Chapter members to over 300 for the for the first time!
In addition to cultivating new members, their team gathered valuable insights and recorded about a dozen solid leads on the location of surviving American chestnuts in Maine.

As always, this was a successful time at the fair!

📍Maine locals- make sure to mark your calendars to attend next year!

Curious about a TACF membership? Head to the link in bio to learn more.
... See MoreSee Less

Check out the Maine Chapter of TACFs booth at the Fryeburg Fair

This eagerly anticipated annual event, held each fall in the picturesque town of Fryeburg, Maine, attracts a staggering 170,000 attendees. Each year the Maine Chapter has a booth set up for people to learn about American chestnut.

This year, each person who signed up to become a new TACF member received two chestnut seedlings as part of the Fryeburg Fair Special, and because of this, they welcomed 90 new members. This brings the total number of Chapter members to over 300 for the for the first time!
In addition to cultivating new members, their team gathered valuable insights and recorded about a dozen solid leads on the location of surviving American chestnuts in Maine.

As always, this was a successful time at the fair!

📍Maine locals- make sure to mark your calendars to attend next year!

Curious about a TACF membership? Head to the link in bio to learn more.Image attachment

1 CommentComment on Facebook

More about the ME Chapter- tacf.org/me/about-us/

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