Iowa DNR gets 440-year old white oak cross section

posted by Sue Danielson -

DES MOINES, Iowa – Visitors to the Wallace State Office Building will be able to check out a cross section from a 440 year-old white oak tree, Iowa's oldest white oak.  The tree was knocked down during a storm in 2005.

The Science Center of Iowa donated it to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.    The cross section is about three feet in width.   

The tree was located along the Des Moines River, north of Hartford in northeast Warren County.

“We are looking forward to incorporating several educational pieces to the display in the near future,” said Emma Hanigan, DNR urban forester. “We are excited to share this piece of history with Iowans!”

The cross section was sanded at a saw mill, wood stabilizer was applied several times.  The drying process took over four years.

Pammel State Park, in Madison County is home to some of the oldest oak trees in the state.   The 350 acre park is southwest of Winterset.

Iowa State Forester Jeff Goerndt tells WHO Radio News the current, oldest white oak tree is located in Pammel State Park.  He says it's over 400 years old.  He says there are some cedar trees in northeast Iowa that are 500 years old.   Oldest is not always the largest, the black walnut and the cottonwood trees are the largest in Iowa.

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