AUGUSTA — Viles Arboretum will begin the creation of a one-acre American Chestnut Restoration Orchard with the ceremonial planting of five of the newly available variety that will pave the way for the eventual return of this native species to Maine forests.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the Arboretum. The Maine Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation uses conventional back-cross breeding to produce blight resistant American chestnuts well adapted to Maine. The establishment of this orchard is made possible through the financial support of Smart Eye Care.

Participants will gather at the Visitors Center of the Arboretum and hike to the orchard location, about 15 minutes away. Representatives from the American Chestnut Foundation will be on hand to talk about this species and the importance of this newly established planting.

“As an arboretum, we are always seeking partnerships that allow us to provide our visitors with outstanding examples of the world’s trees and natural history. We have been working for over 18 years with The American Chestnut Foundation, supporting their work and offering the public a window into the world of the American chestnut. This new planting became a reality when our Business Partner Smart Eye Care approached us with an interest in being a financial catalyst to make this important step towards conserving this species a reality,” Mark DesMeules, executive director of the Viles Arboretum, said in a news release from the Arboretum.

For more information, visit, or call 626-7989.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.