SUNY-ESF graduate student Kristen Stewart attended the Camden, NY Relay for Life on May 31 to hand out American chestnut tree seedlings to cancer survivors. A cancer survivor herself, Kristen organized the donation with the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project, on the basis that the chestnut trees too are survivors.
These are not the Project’s blight-resistant chestnut trees, which are still in the regulatory approval process. But they are a symbol of what is to come. They can be grown as “mother” trees to eventually pollinate with the resistant trees and promote healthy genetic diversity within the species once the transgenic trees are released to the public.
The Camden Relay for Life was a well attended event, and Kristen passed out over 100 American chestnut trees, along with instructions on how to grow them and links to our chestnut research website at SUNY-ESF.