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