The orchard was planted in 2005 using the direct seed method. And as you remember, we inoculated all of the trees in the orchard in 2010 as part of the blight-resistance screening. We evaluated blight cankers and rated the trees on their American morphological traits in 2010 and 2011. There are three different family lines in the orchard, and we made some preliminary selections in each of the families and began making intercrosses between them in 2011 and 2012. The 2011 F2s were planted in a seed orchard design in Knox County in April of this year. The 2012 crop is growing in containers in the nursery at UTC. This is a very exciting result!
I would like to make another round of selections this year and begin to rogue the orchard. The plan is to mark the selected individuals with flagging and remove all of the other trees. We can cut the trees to be removed at their bases and spray the cut stumps with glyphosate to kill them. If we had access to a back-hoe, we could dig up the stumps. One advantage to physically removing stumps is that it may help to shorten the time to re-plant.
I am excited about the opportunity to continue the relationship between TACF and Tennessee Tech. I would like to work with you on a proposal to convert the backcross orchard into a seed orchard where we can plant the F2 progenies of the Tennessee Chapter backcross selections.