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Finding The Materials You Need

Blight-free American Chestnut Seedlings

The West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington have always been relatively free from chestnut blight, and we all hope to keep things that way. From time to time, blight has been introduced, usually through careless importation of trees, wood or other material from blight-infested areas of the East Coast. The reaction has been to swiftly identify the infected trees and then to burn all suspected carriers of the blight.

To keep this area blight-free, a strict quarantine on all chestnut products from the rest of the world has been enacted. There are several ways to legally import chestnut material from blight-infected areas:
1) A permit with specific safeguards can be obtained to import nuts and grow them in a controlled environment. This is difficult and time-consuming, but has been successfully used to import nuts from specific geographic regions for experimentation.
2) Seedlings that have grown for two years blight-free in areas of Nevada and Arizona certified to be blight-free can be imported without special permit. Again, it requires a lot of patience to grow trees in pots in a desert, but it can be done.

For more details on the West Coast chestnut quarantine, contact:
Bernie Monahan
1820 Loganberry Way
Pleasanton, CA 94566-6024

Fortunately, there are several commercial sources within the West Coast quarantine zone from which blight-free seedlings can be shipped anywhere in North America with no problem.
1) Bear Creek Nursery
Northport, WA 99157

Bear Creek usually has a large supply of pure American chestnut seedlings which they process in the fall and ship in bare-root form for spring planting. Prices for two-year seedlings are very reasonable, particularly for lots of 25 or more trees.
UPDATE - February 2001 - Bear Creek Nursery has ceased operation. Film at 11 PM.

2) Burnt Ridge Nursery
432 Burnt Ridge Road.
Onalaska, WA 98570

Burnt Ridge has a much smaller stock of American seedlings, but can handle orders for a few seedlings.

(3) Raintree Nursery
391 Butts Road
Morton, WA 98356
Phone: ( 360 ) 496 - 6400

Raintree has a smaller stock of American Chestnut seedlings and higher prices than Bear Creek, but they are still in business.

Blight-free American Chestnuts

There are currently no commercial sources of pure American chestnuts on the West Coast. The best source, and usually the only source, is a "Chestnut Buddy".

The chestnuts seen in the market around Thanksgiving are almost invariably imported from Europe or the Middle East, and have been treated with methyl bromide to kill all living organisms, including the germ cells of the chestnut.

There are several commercial sources of locally-grown viable nuts, usually Oriental hybrids. Green Vally Chestnut Ranch of Sebastopol, CA ( phone 1-800-214-2005 ) ships in lots as small as one pound, which will typically yield 20-30 viable nuts. Fresh nuts are usually available from Halloween to Thanksgiving. See their Home Page and Order Form on our Chestnut Links page.

Blight-free Pollen & Scions

One of the major activities of our group is supplying blight-free pollen and scions to other researchers. Tell us what you need well in advance of the date you need it, so that we can coordinate our projects with yours.

We currently have very limited supplies of scion wood from blight-resistant F3, B1-F2 and B2-F2 trees ( those are 1/2, 3/4 and 7/8 American respectively ) which we are using for our Nurse-Nut Grafting experiments, and an abundance of pure American pollen.

Scions are cut in early January, and can be shipped anytime from January through March, and then stored in a refrigerator till needed. Pollen is only viable for a few weeks in late June or early July, depending on local weather conditions.

Helpful Hints & Expert Advice

If you cannot find the information you need by following the links of this web site, just send me an email briefly outlining your problem. Charlie Allen