The American chestnut tree was once a keystone species in the eastern forest from Maine to Georgia and Indiana, supporting countless species with its abundant nuts. Its rot-resistant wood, bark, and tasty nuts also provided food, medicine, and wood products for Indigenous and post-colonial people.
In the early 20th century, a fungal pathogen accidentally introduced from overseas swept through the eastern forest. Four billion chestnut trees died or were left as no more than stump sprouts. Since then, few American chestnuts grow to canopy height or continue to produce the valuable nuts.
UNE Professor of Environmental Studies Thomas Klak will talk about the tremendous ecological value of this tree, the role it could play in combating climate change, and the multi-faceted efforts to bring back the chestnut tree – in Maine (e.g. Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation) and elsewhere. Come learn about this majestic chestnut tree, of which some isolated specimens remain in Maine, and what you can do to support work to return it to its proper place on the Maine landscape.
This is a virtual presentation, please register to receive a link to attend.
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