Volunteer Announcement

Fall foliage in Stokes State Forest_http://www.njskylands.com/odfoliage

In 2006, a group of PA/NJ volunteers worked to establish a plot of Chinese chestnuts in Stokes State Forest, right along Route 206: 41.186108, -74.800481: https://goo.gl/maps/DrBAQsgVMqV6AGCW9

I’d like to get a group of about 10-15 people to help measure those trees at Stokes on Tuesday, September 15, following the measurement protocol performed at Codorus State Park last month.

TO REGISTER: Fill out this Stokes State Forest Volunteer Application  and email to me. Stokes State Forest requires all volunteers to have this form on file to work on-site. I will gather all the forms and send to the Park Superintendent, Rebecca Fitzgerald.

Event Details:

WHENTuesday, September 15th — (8:30 am – 4:00 pm)

WHERE: Stokes State Forest Chinese Chestnut Planting

  • We will gather in the main parking lot at the Stokes State Forest offices at 8:30 am for a briefing meeting, then convoy closer to the plantation site.
    • 1 Coursen Rd, Branchville, NJ 07826
    • 41.185410, -74.796015
  • From the parking area, there is a steep incline with a bit over 1000 feet of distance to the plantation site.

WHAT: Measuring trees for size, form, and architecture

COST: Free

  • Generally there is a fee to enter NJ State Forests and Parks, but the fee will be waived for our volunteer day.
  • That said, you may choose to pay the fee to further support the NJ State Forest Service  


Physical distancing and masks wearing will be required. You are welcome to join us for most or part of the day – you don’t have to be available the entire time if you can’t do it. Even just a couple of hours will help.

  • We will be working primarily in the 3’ – 6’ sections of the tree, so there should not be as much bending over. See below for a more in depth description of data types to be collected.
  • I’m looking to form at least 6 teams of 2 where there is one person using a measuring tool of some kind (most likely a DBH tape) and the other will be recording data (either written or on a tablet).

Although we will be outside, we will be working in pairs, and the use of masks will be required. The pairs can stay 6’ apart throughout the data collection process, and each pair will be much farther apart than that.

What we will be measuring. Each pair will have one of these groups of measurements to take.

  • Tree height, tree DBH, presence/absence of blight, presence/absence of sporulating cankers, percentage cankering of a stem, and a numerical rating for tree form
  • Tree diameter at 3’, tree diameter at 6’, diameter of all branches between 3’ and 6’


This new site was established adjacent to a historic Chinese chestnut plantation which was installed as part of USDA trials in the 1920s/1930s. Many of those original Chinese chestnut trees still stand. The goal of planting the new Chinese chestnut stand was to evaluate their response to inoculation when planted on a 5’ x 5’ grid. The trees were inoculated in 2010 and the resulting cankers were measured in 2011.

As part of our work to uncover the molecular control of both blight-resistance and tree form and architecture, this stand now serves as one of the best – and only – locations to compare those traits in a closely spaced, orchard-type environment. This population will be one of the best to match the style of planting for the Codorus State Park F2 planting which was measured in mid-August.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please email Sara Fitzsimmons at sff3@psu.edu