This circa 1910 image provided by the Forest History Society via the The American Chestnut Foundation, shows woodsmen with three huge American chestnut trees near what is now the Joyce

 

              This circa 1910 image provided by the Forest History Society via the The American Chestnut Foundation, shows woodsmen with three huge American chestnut trees near what is now the Joyce
This circa 1910 image provided by the Forest History Society via the The American Chestnut Foundation, shows woodsmen with three huge American chestnut trees near what is now the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in western North Carolina. The "redwood of the East," once towered over everything in the forest from Georgia to Maine. It provided the raw materials that fueled the young nation's westward expansion, and inspired poets. Then a blight struck, and by the 1950s, this mightiest of trees was all but extinct - "gone down like a slaughtered army," in one naturalist's words. (AP Photo/Forest History Society via the The American Chestnut Foundation)