Native and wbpdeer (aka Trees R Us)


Well-Known Member
Over the last couple of years I have been helped tremendously by Native and wbpdeer on my attempts to provide pears and chestnuts for my wildlife ( and a little for me). Some pear seedlings that I grew did not produce the kind of fruit I wanted. They were not true to their source. I contacted Native about the process to graft some better fruit stock to my little trees. He sent detailed instructions with pictures, helped me along with each stage and was ready to answer any questions.

That was March 2021. I tried to graft 7 or 8 trees and got some decent starts on 4 or 5. When Native saw a picture of the starts he texted "you may have pears in two years. I have seen it happen". Well for three of my trees it did. Here are some pictures of those trees now:




You will notice on the last picture that we have some pears. The scions for the grafting came from a neighbor's trees from which pear preserves has been made for generations. I am hoping to continue the process. I may not have as high percentage of hits as Native but I am thankful for these.

About the time I started growing pears, I also gave a try with Sawtooth oaks. Also, I was offered a few chestnuts from wbpdeer in TN. I was able to plant 5 or 6 chestnut seedlings in 2013 and had some produce a few years later. Later I got more chestnuts from Wayne and have about a dozen trees that should bear fruit soon. My neighbor and I decided we wanted more chestnuts on our properties so I contacted wbpdeer to inquire about some seedlings. I knew that he had continued his push to have 1000 new chestnut trees across the US and had quite a seedling production process at his house.

We worked it out for my wife and me to visit him in March to get a couple dozen new seedlings. It was amazing listening to him explain the sources of each chestnut, the history and future of some of the collection trees. My wife and I left with some seedlings of chestnuts from Ohio, and area called Chestnut Hill, and Wayne's back yard. Also, we brought home a bag of chestnuts almost ready for pots. These he called Collins, referencing a tree in his area.

Starting with good stock my Bull Pen area is now richer with the addition of these trees, and next January more will be planted from seedlings from the chestnuts.

Ohio tree

Chestnut Hill


And the little Collins chestnuts have some top growth

Much thanks to Steve and Wayne for their expertise and willingness to help with this project.

And I will also add some current pictures from Lake Martin. I still enjoy growing Heirloom tomatoes



MIlton has it going on Big Time! The Collins Chestnuts are named for the land owner where I collected the nuts from. It is a magnificent tree, best I know of in Tennessee. The 1204 are the trees that got me started. TVA gave landowners chestnuts to plant when the Americans were wiped out. My wife's grandfather planted many of these trees from the TVA source.

Now the Ohio Chestnuts come from Greg Miller, formerly the Empire Chestnut Company, in Carrolton, Ohio. Greg knows more about Chestnuts than anyone in the USA that I am aware of. Now his company is Route 9 Cooperative where a group of Orchards formed a coop. I love his chestnuts and I buy from him every year to get the diversity and his germinate very well. You get what you pay for.

Milton gave me tomato seedlings and I hope my new nickname doesn't become Killer.

It was a great visit to have Milton and Wanda in Portland, TN. Maybe I will make it down to the Bullpen some time in the future.

Native Hunter knows as much about habitat as anyone on this forum or others. His observations are based upon personal experience. Those of you that need guidance and wise advice, Steve is your man.

What I am not good at? Grafting. Now that is when I call myself Killer. Those of you good at Grafting, have my respect. Too me, is like the Game of Golf, very frustrating. So I do the things I enjoy and avoid the things that frustrate me.

I want to share one thing about Milton's Visit that deserves sharing. Milton is passing on all of his habitat experiences to the grandkids. Jack got to help plant some of the seedlings that came from Portland, and I am sure others will get to experience what their grandfather has going on.

I smile to see photos of seedlings that I helped get established that will feed the deer and turkey. But when I know young people get to experience this process and passion, nothing tops that in my value system.

As I tell people now, I give my seedlings away, this is my charity. I am giving back to the whitetail deer. I have hunted them for 58 years, started at the age of 12 years old. Carried a Model 12 Winchester Shotgun, 30 Full Choke, it weighed a ton for a young kid. I earned the money at the rate of 65 cents an hour to buy that gun.

I wish more hunters invested in passing on our heritage to the youngsters. It sure was a pleasure to listen to Milton talk about the experiences hunting and prepping the habitat with the grandkids. Yep, it doesn't get any better than that IMO.