A 200-year-old live oak tree from Pass Christian, Mississippi will be making a 1,500 mile journey to Mystic, Connecticut.
The tree was struck by lightening which caused enough damage to deem it as a dying oak. Luckily, the restoration experts at Mystic Seaport stepped in and offered to put this 200-year-old tree to good use; rebuilding Mayflower II, the full-scale reproduction of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America in 1620, owned by our friends at Plimoth Plantation.
Why is oak so important in rebuilding this iconic vessel? According to Quentin Snediker of Mystic Seaport, "Live oak was the best available ship timber in the new world in the age of wooden ships... Live oak is very durable. Rot resistant. But is also comes in very gentle, sweeping curves and has a lot of crooks in it. And those crooks are perfect for ship's knees. And that's some of the most valuable material we see in this particular tree."
And he should know! Quentin has supervised the construction and maintenance of, as well as captained, traditional wooden sailing vessels for over 40 years.
Watch the full video from WLOX Mississippi here:
Mayflower II is in the midst of a multi-year restoration process to prepare her for the 400th anniversary of her predecessor's voyage. To support this project, click here.