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Trees From Crane Being Used In USS Constitution Restoration

Trees from NSA Crane will be used to replace boards on the hull of the USS Constitution.

About 40 trees from Naval Support Activity Crane are being used in the restoration of the USS Constitution.

NSA Crane has about 53,000 acres of forest filled with white oak trees. NSA Crane forester Trent Osmon says these are the same kind of trees that were used to build the historic ship more than 215 years ago.

“This actually is the original species as far as white oak is concerned,” he says.  “Obviously when it was build in 1790s, it was commissioned in 1797, it was built out of white oak, but more from the Boston area. But as you can see there’s not a lot of forest left in the Boston area.”

The trees will replace decaying wood on the sides or hull of the ship that now floats in Boston harbor. Commander Jim Stewart, the Commanding Officer of NSA Crane, says the innovative design of the USS Constitution mirrors the kind of innovative technology Crane is trying to develop.

“We are extremely proud to be part of this project because the USS Constitution is the last remaining ship from the War of 1812,” he says. “It was one of the last of the original six frigates that were commissioned very early in our nation’s birth.”

The naval center contributed about 80 trees in the 1970s. The new trees will arrive in Boston in the fall of 2014 and the restoration will take about two years to complete.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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