"I am heading our Stony Brook Garden Club project in our effort to help with restoring the American chestnut tree. All GCA clubs have an initiative to do some kind of civic tree project as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Garden Club of America - for 2013. We planted about 50 seeds on Sunday in Greenway Meadows Park.
The seeds were provided by Sara Fitzsimmons from Penn State University. She is involved in their research project of backcrossing toward the goal of a disease resistant tree. They are in their 6th generation of backcrossing. She heads and visits volunteer orchards connected with the project at Penn State.
At Sara's recommendation, we planted pure American seeds (not blight resistant) because of the need to maintain/provide a biodiverse germ pool of seeds for their back-crossing project. In time, with success of this "orchard" we can transition to blight resistant trees as they become more available."