For decades now, scientists and volunteers in the Northeast have been trying to bring back the American chestnut tree, which a century ago comprised about 25 percent of New England’s forests.

Blight nearly wiped out the American chestnut, and it did so quickly. Restoring the tree is taking a little more time, in part because the blight is still out there.

Thanksgiving leftovers in my kitchen include Chinese chestnut-stuffing. Most people know that our American chestnut trees were decimated by an Asian fungus detected in 1904 that killed untold billions of trees and wiped-out one of the most common and most important lumber and wildlife trees from eastern forests before 1940.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Its fall in New England and that means apples, cranberries, pumpkins, and – about a hundred years ago – it meant chestnuts.

But last century an invasive blight wiped out chestnuts on the East Coast. So in order to get the feel of the autumns of yester-year, NHPR checked in with the effort to bring the once mighty chestnut back to New Hampshire forests.