AUGUSTA, Maine – The Viles Arboretum chestnut collection has begun its remarkable flowering display. Don’t miss seeing this native tree in flower. There is no other Maine tree that puts on a display like this one. The fragrance, the abundant ivory flowers, the amazing variety of insects present to gather nectar and pollen, all contribute to a visual and olfactory experience you will never forget. This year looks as though it may rival last year’s flower and seed set so be sure to stop by the Arboretum and take a look. A short five-minute walk to the chestnut collection is all it takes and the trails are freshly mowed. Remember that the peak flowering period only lasts for around five days.
We also have a new shipment of American chestnut seedlings for sale. They are sure to go fast so don’t wait if you wish to purchase one or more. This native tree species was nearly eliminated throughout its range when in 1902 a fungus was imported to the United States. It spread rapidly throughout the tree’s entire range including Maine and killed virtually every adult tree. Some trees survived and it is seed from these survivors that the American Chestnut Foundation has utilized to grow the seedlings we now have available. Over time, it is their goal to cross and re-cross trees that demonstrate resistance to the chestnut blight in hopes of re-establishing this beautiful native tree in Maine’s forests.
The Viles Arboretum, centrally located in Augusta on 224 acres of fields, forests, wetlands and botanical collections offers an ever-changing selection of programs for the general public and for schools. We focus on interactive, creative and hands-on teaching with a focus on natural history and unlocking everyone’s natural ability to understand the nature of our world through your own eyes and by using your own intellect.
You can learn more about the Arboretum and its programs, or how to become more involved by checking our website at www.vilesarboretum.org, checking our Facebook page or simply by stopping in or calling us at 626-7989.