Tennessee News

Planting Chestnut is Like Icing on a Birthday Cake

My wife Paula asked me what I would like to do on my birthday on this past Saturday. I suggested helping to restore the American chestnut, and she was all in. Having completed one generation of backcross orchard trees through innoculation and selection in the orchard, it was time to continue the adventure with a new planting at Weaverpond. I met Hill Craddock, with students Casey and Taylor, at a nearby country store, and we transferred the seeds and seedlings to my truck. Paula and I hit the ground running when I got home. We drew our water from the rainwater harvesting system at the orchard, and used it to moisten the peatmoss used for planting. Paula dug and I planted. She followed along behind me, hammering the treeshelter stakes into the ground. In this manner, we planted a total of 161 seeds and seedlings on Saturday April 26. These include:

Row A: ME376xTNSC5 #41
ROW D: ME376xTNSC5 #22
ROW E: ME376xTNSC5 #20 and TNMAC1xQING #3 (F1)
Castanea Henryi #3

This is in addition to a planting of F3B3 from March 31.
W2-22-75 #2
W2-30-144 #2
W3-31-116 #2
W5-14-47 #2

Today, the heavy rains came right on schedule and have soaked all the plantings. The pond beside our house overflowed its spillway, a rare occurence. I expect that all of the water tanks at the orchard in the rainwater harvesting system will be topped off.

I hope everyone else had a good weekend too!

Greg Weaver