Orchard Volunteer Days — June

Seeking Volunteers for Seedling Inoculations

Orchard at the Penn State Arboretum
DATE: Friday, June 17th only 
LOCATION: Orchard at the Penn State Arboretum, University Park, PA
TASK: Inoculate ~2,000 seedlings

The June 16th field day is canceled due to weather and there will be no rain dates.

Contact Hoy to Volunteer: sdh177@psu.edu | (814) 424-0022

The PA/NJ Chapter Welcomes John Buckley as our 2022 Orchard Intern at Penn State University.

Hi everyone!

My name is John Buckley, and I am a Senior at Penn State studying Forest Ecosystem Management. In my spare time, you will find me wandering the woods with my dog Charlie, listening to music in the kitchen far too loud, or paddling the waterways of my home state, Florida.

I chose the Orchard Internship with the PA/NJ Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) this summer because it provides opportunities to utilize skills from other parts of my life. A non-traditional student, I served in the navy, studied paramedics and firefighting, and spent 6 years working on organic produce farms throughout Pennsylvania before returning to school to study forestry. I enjoy working in a space where agriculture and research coexist and intermingle. This internship at the restoration research orchards here at Penn State also gives me the opportunity to work outside, which my mother would say “helps build some character.” As someone who plans to work in Forestry, working to help TACF re-establish the American chestnut to its native range has proven to be an invaluable experience. ~ John Buckley

Outreach Report for May 2022

Approximation of route.
A report from Dylan Longale, our 2022 Outreach and Data Management

This month I got to meet some great people and saw some great orchards. I travelled 1,319 miles, met with 9 different members, and saw 11 different orchards.

From Left: Dylan Longale and George Perry

I started out the month travelling to York to interview George Perry. George just turned 100 and I got to hear all about his work with TACF from the chestnuts he has on his family farm to the work he did in the early days of the organization with Dave Armstrong and Robert and Ann Leffel.

After that, I travelled up to Cameron County to meet with Jim and Steve Zoschg. They had F2 orchards, and they showed me around their orchards as well as some decent size wild American chestnuts in the woods nearby. The Spongy Moth was hitting the trees hard up there, but some were persevering and looked nice.

Next, I went to Force, PA to look at an orchard that was established in 2013 on an old mining site that is now owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. I met up with Don Schmidt and we took survival data at this orchard. Don told me some of the history of the site and some of the restoration projects they were doing there.

My next stop was Pittsburgh where I met up with Ken Allshouse and Steve Johnstonbaugh. I went out and saw some orchards all around the city. I went to the North Park orchard with Ken. This orchard did not have deer fencing which led to huge problems with deer damaging the trees. It also had some problems with people coming in and damaging the orchard. Despite these setbacks, Ken has kept the orchard in shape. After North Park, Steve and I went to a forested planting in Sewickley heights. This site was very interesting because since it was a forested site it was fenced in and largely left alone. I got to see how the trees were doing in an unmaintained area with lots of competing vegetation. Most of the trees here were planted in 2012 and they looked great. Some of the trees were getting tall trying to fill in some of the gaps in the forest canopy.

My last stop this month was to Delaware county where I met Tom Struble and Dan O’Keefe. First, I went to see Tom’s F2 orchard in West Chester. He had about 60 trees at this orchard and was planning on planting more soon. The trees were planted in 2013 and were getting tall with not a lot of mortality. After that, I met with Dan O’Keefe at the Tyler Arboretum Orchard. This orchard is a wild American chestnut orchard established in 1997. Dan and his group of dedicated volunteers keep this orchard in great shape and still have many of their original plantings in the orchard. They are currently working on planting more wild American chestnuts and getting ready to bag flowers!

May Outreach — Orchard Images

Planting Day at the Arboretum at Penn State

500 Seedlings Planted!

  • Orchard field before planting.

Summer Outreach Volunteer Days

PSU Ag Progress Days 2022
Centre County
Tues., Wed., and Thurs., Aug. 9-11
Penn State University’s – Russell E. Larson Research Center
2710 W. Pine Grove Rd., Pennsylvania Furnace, PA 16865
Sign up to volunteer today! 


Summer Project | Work from Home
American Chestnut Activity Sheet

 Forest restoration is a multigenerational mission. It is critical that we educate the public about the history of this native tree, its significant role in our forest ecosystem, and our progress to restore it. We have some decent materials for adults but we want to do more to connect with children if we want to ensure three is the next generation to take up the work. We are seeking guidance from professional educators to develop targeted activities for a children’s activity sheet. We want to start with a 2-sided 8 by14 sheet with activities for a variety of ages. Once we have content we will seek assistance from graphic artists to create an attractive layout. 

We can work on this remotely over email and zoom as needed.
If you are interested please contact Jean: mail@patacf.org | 814-863-7192

TACF Chestnut Chats on Hold!

TACF has postponed the upcoming May 20th chat and placed future chats on hold due to staffing shortages. Thank you for your patience.

Back in 2020 when gatherings started getting canceled, TACF established the Chestnut Chat Series as a monthly get-together online so members and others could keep talking and learning about our restoration mission. Over the past two years, they have drawn dedicated followers with regular attendance of 100 or more. We hope they will be back soon.

Recordings and resources from past Chats are available online. Just follow the link below:

Chestnut Chat Recordings and Resources