Part of a white oak tree that is being removed to make way for a new science building at Framingham State University will become part of the Mayflower II, the university announced in a press release.
Mayflower II is a full-scale reproduction of the original galleon, and part of Plimoth Plantation, a popular tourist and education destination. Mayflower II is away from its berth at the Pylmouth waterfront as it undergoes restoration at a dry dock at Fairhaven Shipyard in Fairhaven, Mass., according to Plimouth Plantation spokesperson Sarah Macdonald. The vessel is expected to return soon Plymouth soon, though no exact date has been set, she said.
The 56-year-old replica of the original Mayflower, which brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620, was towed to a dry dock in December 2012 to undergo Coast Guard inspection and repairs.
“We’re thrilled that this beautiful tree is being put to good use and will live on as part of Mayflower II,” said Framingham State President Timothy J. Flanagan in a statement.
Sections of the white oak will be used to replace Mayflower II’s planks and frames. The contractors removing and transporting the tree later this month are Barr & Barr Construction, from Framingham; W.L. French Excavating Corp. from North Billerica; and R.J. Cobb Land Clearing, Inc., from Bellingham.
"We are very grateful for this timely and generous gift," said Ellie Donovan, Executive Director of Plimoth Plantation. "This tree will become part of Mayflower II's living story of faith, courage and perseverance. This donation makes it possible for the Ship to continue to inspire and educate for generations to come."
The project is being undertaken by the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance.
Framingham State will preserve a cross-section of the White Oak to be developed into a commemorative piece of art by Communications Arts Professor Derrick TePaske. The university will be planting 99 new trees and 128 new bushes as part of its landscaping efforts following the completion of the new science facility.