Time to Inoculate the Chestnuts!
On Tues., July 25, The Maryland chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation(MD-TACF) needs between five and 15 volunteers to help with a small stem inoculation project in Frostburg.
Volunteers will need to need to assign numbers and take size data from about 900 three-month-old seedlings. People will also need to do small micro-inoculations of stems that have chestnut blight fungus.
The trees will be evaluated later for their resistance to blight based on their reactions to the inoculations and then planted in the seed orchards. In two years, they will be re-inoculated using the standard inoculation method and reassessed for resistance. These results will be compared with other trees.
This small stem inoculation assay (SSA) is an important pilot project. If MD-TACF can show that SSA can predict the results of standard inoculations, it will open the possibility of pre-screening trees in the greenhouse before they are planted in MD-TACF orchards. This will enable the chapter to plant healthier trees and reduce the number of non-resistant trees that must be removed from the orchards. This, in turn, will reduce the number of trees that need to be planted.
If you would like to attend, please let Bruce Levine know in advance so that there will enough equipment, materials and assignments for everyone. The work will be indoors and the group will work for a few hours straight and then leave. Since food will not be provided, you may want to bring your own lunch.
To sign up, contact Bruce at MD-TACF Orchard Volunteers. The inoculations will take place at 10:30 a.m., Tues., July 25, at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Lab, 301 Braddock Rd, Frostburg, MD 21532.