Volunteers Power Our Mission
Many hands make light work! TACF volunteers are interesting, inspired folks you get to know as you work, learn, and grow trees together! If you crave connection and want to create positive change, Maine TACF is a great place to give and to get both.
We believe that we can recreate the forest community and revitalize our human community at the same time. We’re doing it day by day. Won’t you join us?
With your help we can accomplish these tasks and more in 2024:
Potting — During the winter we’ll gather at a member’s greenhouse to pot up the nuts that will become the seedlings of 2024.
Inoculating — In June we will inject live blight fungus into the bark of about 3000 trees in our seed orchards in Searsport, Phippsburg, Stetson, Hartland, and Winthrop, to see if the trees show any sign of blight resistance.
Evaluating — Trees inoculated in June of 2023 will be evaluated by TACF scientists to see how well they fared against the fungus.
Roguing — From May through October any trees that succumbed to the blight will be cut down and removed from the seed orchards, leaving more room for the other trees.
Pollinating — In July or August, volunteers will transfer pollen collected from our more promising trees to the blooming flowers of other high performing chestnuts.
Harvesting — In the fall we’ll gather nuts from pure American chestnuts and any hand pollinated “best by best” crosses. The narrow harvest window is usually September 25 through October 10.
Husking— A couple weeks after harvest, it’s all hands on husks to open the spiny burs (with tough gloves) to reveal 2-3 delicious, sweet nuts tucked inside. Hot cider, roasting chestnuts and lively conversation remind us why volunteering is so rewarding.
Learn more about Volunteering
Time is our most precious resource to give. At TACF we treat your time like a valuable gift to the future. Opportunities abound for volunteers, even those who don’t love field work. To find the best fit for your skills and interests, contact our volunteer coordinator today. She will reply within 48 hours to learn more about you and where you fit among the chestnuts.