Iowa's oldest oak tree is on its last limbs, following the confirmed EF-4 tornado that ravaged the Winterset area last month.

KCCI via YouTube
KCCI via YouTube
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According to a report from KCCI, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says this longstanding bur oak tree sprouted in 1634, in Madison County's Pammel State Park.

KCCI via YouTube
KCCI via YouTube
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To put that in perspective, that's nearly a century before the birth of our country and the father of it, the first president of the United States, George Washington. Pammel State Park is essentially known as "ground zero" for the March 5th tornado. It's where the storm initially hit, according to KWWL.

KCCI via YouTube
KCCI via YouTube
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It's amazing how much of this tree withstood the tornado. According to KCCI, 150 dump truck loads of tree debris have been removed from the park, which according to the Madison County conservation outreach coordinator, Jessie Lowry, is the home to about 40-50 more of the oldest trees in the state. Although the park itself reopened last Wednesday, the cleanup is expected to take years.

KCCI via YouTube
KCCI via YouTube
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As for what's going to become of this historic tree that's on its last limbs, Jessie Lowry said this:

We're not sure if it's going to survive or not, but if it doesn't survive, it's going to become a critical habitat for woodpeckers and bats and all kinds of wildlife

While the loss of this tree will be devastating, it's just part of the severe damage and loss suffered by the entire area. We've written several stories in the past month dealing with what the residents there have gone through, and the outpouring of support in its aftermath. You can read many of them here.

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