PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Chestnut Tree

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh | of | Share this photo

    University of New England professor Dr. Thomas Klak stands near one of 100 wild American chestnut trees he has growing in Saco.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davus | of | Share this photo

    An American chestnut bred to resist blight.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    UNE Professor Klak, who also chairs the Gene Conservation Committee for the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, grew the hybrid seedlings with students in his sustainability and ecological restoration class earlier this year.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    The seedlings are protected with a black tarp skirt to eliminate competition, and a plastic sleeve that protects against animals and also helps retain water for the tree.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    UNE Professor Thomas Klak, right, plants blight resistant American chestnut seedlings at Harborview Park in Portland. Helping Klak is Kent Redford of Portland.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Members of the West End Neighborhood Association and University of New England professor Tom Klak, center, plant blight resistant American chestnut seedlings last month at Harborview Park in Portland.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Derek Davis | of | Share this photo

    Kent Redford of Portland, left, helps UNE Professor Thomas Klak.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh | of | Share this photo

    University of New England professor Tom Klak plants one of 100 wild American chestnut tree saplings in a “germplasm orchard” in Saco.

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    Chestnut Tree - Staff photo by Carl D. Walsh | of | Share this photo

    Tom Klak says the American chestnut tree was used to make everything from flour to floorboards. “I think of it as the miracle tree,” he said. “It just has so many positive qualities.”

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