BOSTON Nearly three dozen white oak trees have been harvested in Indiana in preparation of planned repairs to the Boston-based U.S.S. Constitution.
The 35 white oaks harvested at a naval facility in Crane, Ind., will be used to replace deteriorated hull planking and supporting structures called “knees” on Old Ironsides. The dry-docking and repair is planned to take through 2018.
The white oak matches the warship’s original construction material.
About 12 percent of U.S.S. Constitution’s wood is original. The ship’s caretaker says the keel, the bottom frames, and the bottom 13 planks of the hull have never had to be replaced.
The Constitution was built in 1797. It is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat.