Many thanks to Les Nichols, Jim Searing, Mike Aucott, Betsy Murtha, Sean Freidhof, and Jack Shuart who helped take architectural phenotyping measurements at the Stokes State Forest Chinese chestnut plantation on September 15. Both Les and Jack has helped install and maintain the planting since 2006. Jack is a retired forester with the New Jersey Forestry Service, and he has been the primary driver of this project since it’s inception.
The Chinese chestnuts at Stokes were initially planted in 2006 as a project to measure their resistance when planted on 5’ spacing. There are 3 separate genotypes planted, one from a tree called “Uncle Ed” from near Westtown, PA and gathered by long-time member Peter Lane. Another source from Rick Entrekin gathered near Huntingdon, PA. And the third comes from Chinese trees which had been planted at the site in the 1950s as part of USDA trials of Chinese chestnuts.
The trees were inoculated in 2010 and measured in 2011. There were no discernable differences in blight-resistance between the various genotypes at that time. The progeny of the older trees planted at Stokes has enjoyed the best survival and growth over the other two genotypes. Stay tuned for the results of this phenotyping, especially as it compares to data collected at the F1 and F2 plantations measure this summer at Codorus State Park.