The Carolinas Chapter

Upcoming Events

Our Mission

The mission of the Carolinas Chapter is to assist in the work of The American Chestnut Foundation in bringing about a revival and a renewal of the American chestnut tree as a prominent part of the forests of the United States of America by strengthening the organization’s financial and membership base, education, public awareness, and research activities.

Once there were over four billion American chestnut trees in the United States. One out of every four trees in the Appalachian forests was a chestnut! From Maine to Mississippi, American chestnut trees thrived and matured as the dominant species, towering over their neighbors the oaks, hickories, and tulip poplars. And they were huge. One tree near Waynesville, NC, was over 17 feet in diameter — 53 feet in circumference!

Foresters called the American Chestnut “the most useful tree in the woods”,because it provided abundant food for wild animals and livestock, a cash crop for mountain farmers, a light, yellow-colored wood for furniture, and rot-resistant lumber for fences, utility poles, and siding.

In 1904 the chestnut blight disease, caused by an Asian fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, was discovered in the Bronx Zoo of New York City. The blight spread quickly by air and on the bodies of insects, birds, and animals.

By the 1930´s, almost all the mature chestnut trees in the Carolinas were dying back to their roots. Thanks to soil organisms, however, many of the roots remain alive, sending up small sprouts that constantly die back from the blight even today.

Now, with an approach called backcross breeding, the American Chestnut Foundation and its Carolinas Chapter are working to revive this great King of the Forest. Within a decade, we expect to have blight-resistant trees ready for testing in North and South Carolina. It is our hope and expectation that the American chestnut will resume its place as a significant species in our forests. The members of the Carolinas Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation are heavily involved in reaching this goal: finding surviving trees, pollinating them, harvesting seed, and planting orchards for eventual reforestation. We sincerely appreciate the dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm of our members and ask you to join us in our efforts to save this great tree.

Carolinas Chapter Board of Directors

Doug Gillis, Charlotte, NC, President
Peggy MacDonald, Leicester, NC, Vice President
Betsy Gamber, Mebane, NC, Secretary-Treasurer
Haiying Liang, Clemson, SC, Membership and Outreach Officer

Nate Osborne, Leicester, NC
Shan Swartz, Asheville, NC
Jon Taylor, Asheville, NC

 

 

Carolinas Chapter Website Administrator

Kimberly Greenway, Asheville NC

 

The Carolinas Chapter Menu

National Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Where did the names Cassie & Denny come from? Mommy chestnut and Daddy chestnut picked them out of a baby names book. Or you can find out the true origin story by watching this episode. ... See MoreSee Less

Georgia friends, join the GA Chapter of TACF for a screening of our documentary Clear Day Thunder: Rescuing the American Chestnut.

This event takes places Thursday, May 30 at 7:00PM at the historic DeSoto Theatre in Rome, GA. Visit tacf.org/event/ga-rome-international-film-festivals-screening-of-clear-day-thunder/ for more details or to get free tickets to this screening.
... See MoreSee Less

Georgia friends, join the GA Chapter of TACF for a screening of our documentary Clear Day Thunder: Rescuing the American Chestnut. 

This event takes places Thursday, May 30 at 7:00PM at the historic DeSoto Theatre in Rome, GA. Visit https://tacf.org/event/ga-rome-international-film-festivals-screening-of-clear-day-thunder/ for more details or to get free tickets to this screening.

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Gay Ziska:)

Don't worry, if you were already following us before, you still are! This new handle allows us to stay consistent across platforms. ... See MoreSee Less

Dont worry, if you were already following us before, you still are! This new handle allows us to stay consistent across platforms.

Denny's are still hanging on, but Cassie has already dropped them. What could it be? Learn a bit of tree anatomy and discover a new trick to identify chestnut tree species in this week's Cassie & Denny.

And be sure to tune in next week when we explain the origin of the names Cassie & Denny!
... See MoreSee Less

Load more

Latest News

The Chestnut Tree Orchard in The Park at Glassy

The Chestnut Tree Orchard in The Park at Glassy

The Park at Glassy is a beautiful, expansive, woodland sanctuary below the upper post office and the Children’s Village near the top of Glassy Mountain. It comprises 17 acres of sunny open areas, walking paths, shaded woodland trails, a waterfall, and several 100-yr...

read more