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Gazette Premium Content Chestnut trees to be planted at Lincoln birthplace

Associated Press Updated: May 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

HODGENVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Volunteers are being sought to help plant potentially blight-resistant American chestnut trees at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park.

A statement from the National Park Service says 20 trees will be planted Saturday at the park's picnic area. The event is free and open to the public.

The American chestnut was once the dominant tree in area forests, but a blight introduced in the early 1900s virtually wiped them out.

Park Superintendent Bill Justice says many rural families, including the Lincolns, depended heavily on chestnut trees for both food and shelter.

The project is a joint venture between the National Park Service and The American Chestnut Foundation, which is trying to repopulate the region with trees that have been bred to be resistant to blight.

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