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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2018

DNR receives 440-year-old white oak cross section

Jun 29, 2018
PHOTO SUBMITTED The 440-year-old white oak cross section is shown by, from left, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Bruce Trautman, DNR Urban Forestry Program Coordinator Gabriele Edwards, Science Center of Iowa’s Mark Runkel, Jon Runkel, Science Center of Iowa’s Mark Rouw, and DNR State Forester Jeff Goerndt.

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a donation from the Science Center of Iowa of a cross section from a 440-year-old white oak tree.

This is one of two cross sections from the tree — the other is displayed at the Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines. The tree cross section is about 3 feet in width. The white oak tree was located along the Des Moines River north of Hartford in northeast Warren County.

“These cross sections are pretty special and unique. There is only one other species of tree in Iowa that has been found to surpass the age of this white oak,” said Mark Rouw, of the Science Center of Iowa.

Through a great deal of hard work and dedicated time and effort of many, the cross sections were able to be preserved, cut down and hauled away to a saw mill to be sanded down. Wood stabilizer was then applied several times and the drying process took over four years. A custom band and stand were handmade for the display of the cross section.

“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 will be on permanent display in the atrium of the Wallace State Office Building and can be viewed by the public 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

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