2022 Spring Growers Meeting

SAVE THE DATE!

Join us as we come together to renew our efforts to restore the American chestnut to the Eastern forest! 

Where: Allen Theatre, 36 E Main St, Annville, PA 17003  — Google Map

When: April 2nd (8:30 AM to 2:00 PM)

We plan to come together in person to socialize and learn but virtual access to presentations will be provided to all registered guests.  Whether you attend the meeting in person or from home, we are requiring attendees to register in advance and support our efforts by paying a nominal ticket fee of $20.

Featured Speakers:

Doug Tallamy, Ph. D.
TA Baker Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology
University of Delaware

Douglas Tallamy is a nationally recognized author and sought-after speaker. He is a professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware and a major advocate for biodiversity and the role of plants in sustaining natural systems. He has established the non-profit, Home Grown National Park, a grassroots call-to-action to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and creating new ecological networks.

Presentation: Nature’s Best Hope

Recent headlines about global insect declines and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must take to reverse declining biodiversity, how the American chestnut will be a valuable tool in this regard, why we must change our adversarial relationship with nature to a collaborative one, and why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.  

Kimberly Bohn, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor of Forestry
Penn State Mont Alto
Chair, PA Division of the Society of American Foresters

Presentation: Challenges of Artificial Regeneration of Hardwoods

Artificial hardwood regeneration has been utilized in the northeast for a variety of purposes including reforestation and restoration but can often be challenging because a number of external factors can hinder survival and growth. Some factors affecting artificial hardwood regeneration include long-term issues such as deer browsing and increasing competition from non-native plants. This presentation will cover a range of challenges to artificial hardwood regeneration as well as strategies for improving establishment in context to American chestnut restoration in a variety of landscapes.

Sara Fitzsimmons
Director of Restoration
The American Chestnut Foundation

Presentation: What Will it Take to Restore the American Chestnut?

The Appalachian forest ecosystem is vastly different now than it was over 100 years ago when American chestnut was often the dominant species of a stand. Invasive and exotic vegetation, introduced diseases and pests, ravenous and excessive deer herds, overdevelopment, and threats of climate change, add to the challenges facing a species made effectively dormant by introduced disease. 

Given all those hurdles, one might think working toward chestnut restoration is simply a setup for defeat. Luckily, current research suggests populations of the American chestnut could be self-sustainable, despite changing pressures, within the next 50 – 100 years. We will cover some of the strategies TACF will be implemented to overcome the many challenges which will appear during this audacious, species restoration process.