May 3, 2013

Mayor to plant disease-resistant chestnut trees in Portland

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Portland's mayor is planting two disease-resistant American chestnut trees in the city.

Michael Brennan is planting the new varietal of chestnuts in the Mayor Baxter Woods forested park on Friday as part of an effort by the Maine chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation to reintroduce the trees to Maine and Portland.

Once known as the redwood of the East, the American chestnut was one of the most dominant trees in the eastern United States, growing as tall as 100 feet. But a blight overtook the trees during the first half of the 1900s, wiping out the population by the 1950s.

The North Carolina-based American Chestnut Foundation now has developed a potentially blight-resistant tree, with plans to plant millions of them in the 19 states of the tree's original range.

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