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American chestnut grove planted near Penn State campus

April 28, 2010

MONT ALTO, Pa. -- Penn State Mont Alto Forest Technology faculty and students, volunteers from The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) and other volunteers were scheduled to plan an American chestnut grove (Castanea dentata) from seeds this week near campus. More than 600 American chestnut seeds that have been cross-pollinated with Chinese chestnuts to produce blight-resistant trees were to be used.

The planting was to take place on the property of the Borough of Waynesboro, east of the Newman Road extension, south of Cold Springs Road in Adams County, Hamiltonban Township. The borough has supported the planting project and paid for a 2.5-acre deer fence to enclose the trees to be planted on an 8-foot-by-8-foot plot.

The seeds are the most advanced material from TACF. According to Dave Armstrong from the Pennsylvania Chapter of TACF, this could be the first test site for the material. If the testing is acceptable, the Waynesboro Watershed site could be converted into a seed orchard and provide reforestation seed for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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"This exciting project, a partnership between several organizations, will hopefully be one of the last steps in bringing the American chestnut back to the forests of Pennsylvania and the Appalachian region from Mississippi to Maine and into Canada," said Forest Technology Instructor Craig Houghton.

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