Torreya taxifolia Assisted Migration
Ocowee Watershed, Tennessee
Greasy Creek Rd, Reliance TN, 1,100 foot elevation

CLINT BANCROFT resides on 18.5 acres of sloping woodland not far from Chattanooga TN. The Ocowee drains into the Tennessee River Watershed (see maps below).


   VIDEO REPORT: FL Torreya to Ocoee Watershed 1: Greasy Creek, TN 2015

Clint Bancroft shows Connie Barlow the 9 Florida Torreyas he has planted on his 18.5 acres in southeastern Tennessee (plus 2 more in pots). At 1,100 ft elevation, and in a mixed deciduous/conifer forest, all the Torreyas look healthy. In closing, Connie gives Clint 40 seeds from the fall 2014 Torreya Guardians' harvest. Clint demonstrates his rodent-proof outdoor shelter for germinating those seeds.

    19 minute VIDEO - filmed March 2015.

BELOW: Two woodland seeds where some of the 9 torreyas were already planted.

   LEFT: Clint demonstrates his rodent-protected box for germinating Torreya seeds in soil outdoors.

CLINT WRITES (Dec. 2014): "I am trying to establish a preserve of rare SE plants on my TN property. I have no idea of the history of the 11 potted seedlings I already obtained (prior to contact with Torreya Guardians), except in a very general sense.

My first tree is now about four or five years old and was purchased as a gift to me by a friend in Pensacola, FL (from an unknown nursery in Tallahassee). I was told that first tree is a male. The remaining 10 came from Woodlanders in Aiken, SC, and are about two years old now.

I have no idea if any of those are seed-grown or rootings, but all are doing well. Woodlanders wasn't sure of the answer to that question, but I believe those ten are all from rootings off the tree in the Aiken Arboretum. I believe that tree is male.  If they are from that one tree I have ten genetic clones. I have one that has two leaders/trunks."

June 2015:

June 2015 email: "When you visited in March you surmised that my little trees that I set out last summer were resting while they put down a taproot. Apparently they had just not awakened from winter. All of them have put on new lateral growth and even more exciting vertical growth. They are thriving with just ambient rainfall — with the exception of the four I can reach with the hose."

November 2015:

Jack gave Clint 150 seeds from the 2015 fall harvest, 91 of which were floaters (which Clint planted separately in order to keep track of any differences in success between floaters and sinkers).

June 2016:

June 18, 2016 email: I have had great success in Greasy Creek! I have not been able to get to the area where I planted a single seed from the initial 50 you gave me (from the fall 2014 harvest) so do not know what it has done. However, between the remaining 49 you gave me, plus the stratified ones Lee Barnes sent me last year, plus the ones Jack Johnston gave me from Blue Ridge last summer, over 40 of the total have sprouted to date. All are in large pots (wire covered) and the bulk of them are from the initial 50 seeds you (Barlow) brought me two years ago.

The unstratified seeds from Blue Ridge have germinated after being in the pots for only a year or less. It has to all be beginner's luck. Many of the plants are up to 6 inches tall already and look very healthy. So far, there is no lateral growth but I suspect that is normal for the first year.

September 8, 2016 (email):

PHOTOS ABOVE LEFT TO RIGHT: (1) Clint's collection of seedlings in pots that he started from seeds; (2) This single small seedling is not only the tiniest of all, but it was the only one to sprout thus far from the seeds he received via Lee Barnes autumn 2015; (3) and (4) Seedlings from the 50 seeds Connie Barlow delivered March 2015 from the fall 2014 harvest by Jack.

PHOTOS BELOW: All were germinated by Clint onsite from seeds Jack obtains from the fall 2015 Blue Ridge harvest. Clint writes, "These germinated their first summer after just one winter in the ground. All my other seedlings from other seed sources were stratified prior to planting and none germinated the first year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a significant finding. The embryo is known to still need to mature after fruit fall; and it is well known that many tree seeds will enter quiescence (interrupting embryo maturation) if conditions become unsuitable. Perhaps the fact that Clint put the seeds into soil outdoors very soon after harvest, and if winter conditions were mild (or if frigid cold arrived only in late winter) maturation of the embryo was not interrupted. This would be interesting to explore!


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