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Sierra Club May 2: Using Genetic Modification to Restore the American Chestnut

May 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

On May 2, join with the Sierra Club to hear Eron Thiele explain how genetic modification is being used to restore the American Chestnut.

This talk is free and open to the public.

Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine is preparing to become a test site for American chestnut trees that have been genetically modified to resist the fungal blight that nearly wiped out the species early in the last century.

Thiele, coordinator of the Mayland Earth to Sky Park, will discuss the partnership that has been formed with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), New York. The goal of the partnership is to create an orchard of trees that are adapted to our own southern Appalachian region.

A graduate of Davidson College and East Carolina University, Thiele has worked for 10 years in silviculture and forestry. He is currently employed at Mayland Community College and the MAY Coalition, and continues to enjoy a variety of tree-based activities.

William Powell directs SUNY’s American Chestnut Research & Restoration Project. That program has pioneered the micro-propagation of transgenic trees and shows promise for the rapid reestablishment of the species.

The work in New York is undertaken in cooperation with the USDA and differs from earlier efforts to cross-breed the American species with the blight-resistant Chinese species. Many hybrid trees have been planted throughout the eastern U.S. since the 1980s

For more information, contact Judy Mattox,, 828-683-2176.


May 2, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Asheville
1 Edwin Pl
Asheville, NC 28801 United States