Stacy Clark at a chestnut planting in Tennessee

Stacy Clark

Research Forester
2431 Joe Johnson Drive, Room 274 EPSB
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0932
Fax: 865-974-4714

Current Research

• Restoration of American chestnut, including natural growth strategies and how forest management affects chestnut survival and growth • Natural disturbance and successional processes in upland hardwood forests by examining and analyzing tree-rings (i.e., dendrochronology) • Forest management strategies, including harvesting, fire, and herbicide treatments, to restore or maintain oak species • Forest nursery production of oak species and American chestnut to examine genetic differences and methods to produce the highest quality seedling for planting in the forest • Determining the best forest management options for planting oak species in forests where natural oak regeneration is lacking • Examining genetic differences in field performance of planted oak and American chestnut families

Why This Research is Important

American chestnut was once a prolific tree species in the eastern United States and was highly valued for its wood, nuts, and aesthetics. The tree has been virtually extirpated by an exotic pathogen from Asia, the chestnut blight. Advancements in genetic breeding for resistance to blight are being achieved, but no strategy exists for the best methods to plant and maintain chestnut in natural forest communities where it once thrived. Other hardwood species, such as those in the oak genus (Quercus) are decreasing drastically due to changes in disturbance regimes. Through analysis of tree rings, we can reconstruct forest history. These data show that we have an abundance of older oak forests that are going to lose the oak component, decrease in tree diversity, and be less attractive to wildlife species if no management action is taken. Humans can create hospitable environments to maintain or restore oak species through active forest management and through tree planting of oak seedlings grown in a tree nursery. These oak seedlings can be improved in quality through genetic selections.


  • Oklahoma State University, Ph.D. Plant Science, 2003
  • The University of Tennessee, M.S. Forestry, 1999
  • The University of Tennessee, B.S. Forest Resource Management, 1996

Professional Organizations

  • Southern Appalachian Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, Liaison (2012 - Current)
    Serve as Liaison for Forest Service
  • The University Of Tennessee, Adjunct Faculty (2007 - Current)
    Served as committee member for M.S. and PhD students working on American chestnut research within the Foresty, Wildlife, and Fisheries Department.
  • Natural Areas Association, Member (2004 - Current)
  • Society Of American Foresters, Member (1997 - Current)
    Served as chair of Mountain Lakes Chapter in 2007, co-chair in 2006

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Highlights


American Chestnut Restoration Research

Hundreds of blight-resistant American chestnut trees planted last winter in three national forests in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia ar ...


Last updated on : 10/16/2014