Maine Chapter

Seed Sales

Plant sooner or later?
Chinese chestnuts and hybrids sold commercially might resist blight but won’t necessarily thrive in northern climes.
If you want to get some American chestnuts, we can help!

The Maine Chapter of TACF collects seeds from native chestnut trees in Maine every year for:

  • Research purposes
  • Retail seedling sales
  • Volunteer rewards
  • Fundraising sales to support our work

Due to a late freeze in May of 2023, our harvest was much smaller than usual, leaving us too few chestnuts to offer them for sale to the public in 2024. If you’re looking for seeds to plant, let us know and we’ll contact you early in 2025.

There are good reasons to start planting sooner than later:

  • Your native chestnut trees can provide an ideal nursery shelter for planting blight-resistant chestnuts when they become available.
  • Growing native chestnuts now lets you test the suitability of your site. Soil must be acidic and well drained.
  • You can learn now what is needed to get good growth later.
  • Growing ME native chestnuts helps us preserve local genetic diversity.
  • Happy chestnuts can grow 4 feet in height and 1” diameter per year!
  • In 10 to 20 years, your native chestnuts will be producing nuts, poles, and small saw-logs.
How to get seeds or seedlings

Here are ways to get chestnuts to plant and enjoy:

  • Join TACF and receive an invitation to buy our limited supply of pure American seeds or seedlings if/when available.
  • Lend a hand at a volunteer event.
  • Ellis’ Greenhouse in Hudson ME often sells seedlings during the summer months.
  • Buy 2-yr-old Maine chestnut seedlings from Fedco Trees. Fedco buys seeds from the ME Chapter and gives us back $3 per tree.

Maine Chapter Menu

National Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Who's up for a roadtrip? If you live in the New England region there are a couple great opportunities to connect with a state chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation this weekend!

The CT-TACF Chapter will be hosting a table at the Hartford Flower and Garden Show in Hartford, CT Feb 22-25 (tacf.org/event/tacf-at-the-hartford-flower-and-garden-show/)

And the ME-TACF Chapter will be hosting a table at the Cabin Fever Reliever in Brewer, ME on Saturday, Feb 24 (tacf.org/event/cabin-fever-reliever/).

Find more events near you on the TACF Events Calendar! tacf.org/events
... See MoreSee Less

Whos up for a roadtrip? If you live in the New England region there are a couple great opportunities to connect with a state chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation this weekend!

The CT-TACF Chapter will be hosting a table at the Hartford Flower and Garden Show in Hartford, CT Feb 22-25 (https://tacf.org/event/tacf-at-the-hartford-flower-and-garden-show/)

And the ME-TACF Chapter will be hosting a table at the Cabin Fever Reliever in Brewer, ME on Saturday, Feb 24 (https://tacf.org/event/cabin-fever-reliever/). 

Find more events near you on the TACF Events Calendar! https://tacf.org/events

Yes! The 2023 Annual Report of The American Chestnut Foundation is here! We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of TACF volunteers, collaborators, supporters, and staff in our 40th year.

This beautiful report reads more like a magazine and is packed with inspiration, beautiful graphics, and gratitude to the people like you you who made all of this work possible. Sure, we had our share of ups and downs in 2023, but together we're moving forward stronger and filled with optimism. Here's to another great year of progress toward restoring the American chestnut!

View the Annual Report here: tacf.org/about-us/financials/
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
The American Chestnut Foundation

... See MoreSee Less

The American chestnut, Castanea dentata, once dominated portions of the eastern U.S. forests. Numbering nearly four billion, the tree was among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing in these forests. The range extended from Mississippi to southern Ontario and as far northeast as Maine.

In the late 1800’s a deadly blight from Asia was introduced, and in about 50 years, the pathogen, Cryphonectria parasitica, reduced the American chestnut from its huge heights to a tree that now grows mostly as an early-successional-stage shrub.

Despite its demise, the American chestnut is not extinct. The blight cannot kill the underground root system, and stump sprouts grow vigorously in cutover or disturbed sites where there is plenty of sunlight, but inevitably succumb to the blight.

The American Chestnut Foundation is working to develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree through scientific research and breeding, and to restore the tree to its native range in the eastern United States.

Visit our website tacf.org to learn more about this iconic tree species.
... See MoreSee Less

The American chestnut, Castanea dentata, once dominated portions of the eastern U.S. forests. Numbering nearly four billion, the tree was among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing in these forests. The range extended from Mississippi to southern Ontario and as far northeast as Maine. 

In the late 1800’s a deadly blight from Asia was introduced, and in about 50 years, the pathogen, Cryphonectria parasitica, reduced the American chestnut from its huge heights to a tree that now grows mostly as an early-successional-stage shrub. 

Despite its demise, the American chestnut is not extinct. The blight cannot kill the underground root system, and stump sprouts grow vigorously in cutover or disturbed sites where there is plenty of sunlight, but inevitably succumb to the blight. 

The American Chestnut Foundation is working to develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree through scientific research and breeding, and to restore the tree to its native range in the eastern United States. 

Visit our website tacf.org to learn more about this iconic tree species.

19 CommentsComment on Facebook

I hope they are successful. It was a mighty tree.

I planted two hybrid American Chestnuts in southern Minnesota....fingers crossed this spring

I hope they are successful.

Barnwood Builders on TV occasionally comes across a cabin or barn with timber made from the chestnut tree. The wood is beautiful.

I would love to hear an update on the state lands that had a forest fire a few years back in I think Tennessee or North Carolina? The area had many stump sprouts that stay like that because the sunlight can’t get to them to shoot to the sky . Well I would like to know if anyone has been to the forest to see the American chestnut sprouts that should be up above the other slow growing trees that will resprout . Can we get a update please

There were two cut down at the end of our street in NJ. I’m sure the root system could be worked to start new trees

I know of 2 Americans Chestnuts in the Fort Mill SC area. Or I did. My grandfather used to point them out all the time when we were hunting in the woods. But this area has grown up so much I don’t know if they’re there anymore. They were maybe 200 yards off of Sugar Creek down towards the Lancaster/York county line. He would always talk about how many there used to be.

Been reading about American chestnut resurrection for forty years. I just ignore it now.

So when y'all gonna drop 'em on us? I got yard space mapped out for it.

I’ve been waiting my entire adult life for the return of the American Chestnut. Year after year it seems to never get any closer. With genetic science, gene splicing and the like, it seems like it should be right around the corner. I hope I get to live long enough to see that day.

Anyone know how many documented survivors there are?

Any idea when gmo chestnut will be released?

This map is missing a big area of SE Michigan where chestnut historically grew.

Our greatest ecological disaster.

What level of blight resistance has TACF achieved at this point?

When you take into account the enormous economic impact this blight created, pretty sure it was a contributing factor in the great depression. Homesteaders and landowners in a HUGE section of the east coast suddenly lost a MAJOR cash crop in just a few short years, the chestnuts themselves, which were used for both human and livestock consumption, and shipped across the country in railcars. Wildlife of all manner depended on the chestnuts, and they suffered a dramatic decline in numbers because of the blight. Wildlife populations plummeted because of the sudden loss of massive amounts of food. The wood itself was highly prized, being insect and rot resistant. One of the most sought after woods in America, and logged heavily. It is estimated that there were once over 3 BILLION healthy, mature trees before the blight. Now there are just a handful of healthy trees in the entire country.

Before climate change?

It's gone. The passenger pigeon is gone. The economic activity from a century ago is gone. It's done, y'all.

“… Across the Northeast, forests are haunted by the ghosts of American giants. A little more than a century ago, these woods brimmed with American chestnuts—stately Goliaths that could grow as high as 130 feet tall and more than 10 feet wide. Nicknamed “the redwoods of the East,” some 4 billion American chestnuts dotted the United States’ eastern flank, stretching from the misty coasts of Maine down into the thick humidity of Appalachia. …Susan Freinkel noted in her 2009 book, “a perfect tree.” Its wood housed birds and mammals; its leaves infused the soil with minerals; its flowers sated honeybees that would ferry pollen out to nearby trees. In the autumn, its branches would bend under the weight of nubby grape-size nuts. When they dropped to the forest floor, they’d nourish raccoons, bears, turkey, and deer. For generations, Indigenous people feasted on the nuts, split the wood for kindling, and laced the leaves into their medicine. Later on, European settlers, too, introduced the nuts into their recipes and orchards, and eventually learned to incorporate the trees’ sturdy, rot-resistant wood into fence posts, telephone poles, and railroad ties. The chestnut became a tree that could shepherd people “from cradle to grave,” …” www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2023/12/american-chestnut-perfect-tree-restoration/676927/

View more comments

And the winner of the 2023 TACF Photo Contest is…… Lily Zeporah!
Many congratulations to Lily for her beautiful winning image titled “Shining Hope.”

Here is the story behind her journey of discovery:

“This special tree was found in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on Harkening Hill near Bedford, Virginia. I was photographing treehoppers on the branches of a large sapling and suddenly noticed that its oddly shaped leaves were unlike anything I had ever seen. Following a course of events that included research, a return trip, and a flat mailer, samples were sent to Cassie Stark at the Virginia Department of Forestry who verified them to be from a genuine American Chestnut.
My interest and passion for this tree started with my parents, who are also avid outdoor enthusiasts. Hearing stories about the elusive Chestnut and their historic fame made it seem like finding one would be akin to discovering Black Beard's treasure. But even better than musty old gold, finding a young Chestnut tree gives us shining hope for the future of a species trying to survive against the odds.”

Lily will take home a free TACF membership, a bunch of TACF merch, and her image will be featured on the spring issue of Chestnut magazine!

Many thanks to all who participated in TACF's 2023 Photo Contest and keep your eyes peeled for info about the 2024 contest this spring.
... See MoreSee Less

And the winner of the 2023 TACF Photo Contest is…… Lily Zeporah!
Many congratulations to Lily for her beautiful winning image titled “Shining Hope.” 

Here is the story behind her journey of discovery:

“This special tree was found in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains on Harkening Hill near Bedford, Virginia. I was photographing treehoppers on the branches of a large sapling and suddenly noticed that its oddly shaped leaves were unlike anything I had ever seen. Following a course of events that included research, a return trip, and a flat mailer, samples were sent to Cassie Stark at the Virginia Department of Forestry who verified them to be from a genuine American Chestnut. 
My interest and passion for this tree started with my parents, who are also avid outdoor enthusiasts. Hearing stories about the elusive Chestnut and their historic fame made it seem like finding one would be akin to discovering Black Beards treasure. But even better than musty old gold, finding a young Chestnut tree gives us shining hope for the future of a species trying to survive against the odds.”

Lily will take home a free TACF membership, a bunch of TACF merch, and her image will be featured on the spring issue of Chestnut magazine! 

Many thanks to all who participated in TACFs 2023 Photo Contest and keep your eyes peeled for info about the 2024 contest this spring.

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Beautiful

Congrats Lily, beautiful picture and a very thoughtful, well-written accompanying story!

Load more
Subscribe Here to receive our bi-annual newsletter and learn about events and activities around Maine such as, local events and presentations, ceremonial tree plantings, seedling/seed sales, and requests for volunteers at certain times of the year to help with the restoration effort.