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Science Center Donates Section of Iowa’s Oldest Oak to DNR

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DES MOINES, Iowa — A piece of the oldest oak in Iowa has been on display at the Science Center of Iowa since last spring and now another piece can be viewed by the public.

The Science Center of Iowa donated it to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The tree slice is from a 442-year-old white oak that stood along the Des Moines River north of Hartford until it was knocked down in a storm in 2005.

Mark Rouw with the Science Center says it took years to get the piece and have it ready for display because of all the work it needed.

“When you try and stabilize the wood with preservatives it’s a long process because it has to dry very slowly. And that’s to try and minimize the checking – the cracks that occur when wood dries. So, even though we took great pains and used the best-known chemical to try and stabilize the wood it still checked pretty badly and so there was a lot of additional work that was done to the tree to get it to look like this,” said Ruow.

After some binding and sanding, that exhibit is ready for display.

You can find that piece at the Wallace State Office Building from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays.

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