Activities & Committees to Help Georgia's Efforts

  • Finding and identifying surviving American chestnut trees
  • Harvesting nuts locally or at Meadowview
  • Cross-pollinating them with advanced hybrids from TACF research farms
  • Planting American Chestnut trees throughout the state of Georgia
  • Identifying potential sites for breeding orchards within the state
  • Preserving local genetics
  • Breeding blight resistant and regionally adapted trees
  • Public outreach and education
  • Organizing members and volunteers in these activities

Schedule of most Tree Preservation duties:

  1. Spotting/watching for flower development. May - June.  Earlier in S. GA, later in N. GA and at higher elevations.
  2. Collecting and drying pollen. Late May to mid/late June.  Earlier in S. GA, later in N. GA and at higher elevations.
  3. Traveling to Meadowview, Virginia to assist with pollination work there.  We need volunteers for weekends in mid June to early July.
  4. Arranging to get up into flowering GA trees to conduct hand pollinations.  Mid June to early July.  Earlier in S. GA, later in N. GA. (MOTHER TREE APPROACH)
  5. Spotting/watching for nut maturation so harvest can be made before the squirrels get to the crop.  Late Sept. - Oct.
  6. Arranging to get up into trees to harvest nuts in the fall. Oct.
  7. Release and fertilization work.  Fall.
  8. Storing nuts and sending them to orchard sites. Winter.
  9. Relaying all relevant activities and data to me for record keeping purposes.
Please contact any of the chairmen below to offer your services:
  • Fund Raising: Mark Stoakes, 770.319.9196,  Email
  • North GA Orchards: Ken McDonald, 706.767.0508, Email
  • Atlanta Area Orchards: Mark Stoakes, 770.319.9196, Email
  • South GA Orchards: Ronnie Camp, 770.476.5382, Email
  • Tree Preservation/Breeding: Ronnie Camp, 770.476.5382, Email
  • Publicity and Public Relations: Tim Chesnut, 706.936.0699, Email
  • Stewardship Groups: Martin Cipollini, 706.233.9980, Email

Sometime in late September or October, the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation will need volunteers to travel to Meadowview, VA (the site of the TACF national orchard) to help harvest chestnuts from this summer's blight-resistance breeding experiments.  This will be a great opportunity to see the national orchard first hand as well as to contribute to Georgia's blight-resistance breeding program.  TACF staff will harvest the bags from the trees for us, but volunteers are needed to sort bags, count bags and burs, extract and count the viable seeds, and then package the seeds for transport back to Georgia for storage over winter. 

If you drive your own car, GATACF may be able to reimburse you for gas mileage and meals.  Ordinarily, housing is made available or you can get a room at a local hotel.  If you would like to help out or have other questions regarding this volunteer opportunity, email Ronnie Camp at
ronnie.and.babs@gmail.com or ronnie.camp@micromeritics.com

Also for the harvest in October, we will need volunteers to help at Brasstown Bald with the same general description as you would do in Meadowview. The only exception is that we will need the volunteers to actually harvest the bags straight from the tree along with the counting, shucking, ect. Brasstown Bald is around Union County, so it’s not as far as a drive as Meadowview. However, we need most of our help at Meadowview this fall, but a couple of people will be needed for the harvest at Brasstown Bald.

After the harvest, the chapter will be making decisions about where these seeds will be allocated.  Orchard sites currently under testing will be given priority, but seeds will be available for distribution to test new orchard sites or to set up small demo orchards.  If you are not currently growing chestnuts on behalf of the GATACF, please let Ronnie know if you are interested in taking part in this aspect of the breeding program. If you are growing chestnuts for GATACF, send an email to Ronnie about how they are doing and whether or not you want more chestnuts to grow on your property.

See Mother Trees and Orchards for trees and orchards in your county where we could use your assistance.