Storm fells 500-year-old tree

June 9, 2011 at 4:30 AM

LANCASTER, Ohio, June 9 (UPI) -- Officials at an Ohio senior center said a white oak tree estimated to be more than 500 years old was felled Wednesday by heavy storms.

Tom Smith, facilities supervisor for the Olivedale Senior Center in Lancaster, said the storms Wednesday broke three windows in the facility but no residents were injured, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported Wednesday.

"I don't think lightning hit it. I think it was just the wind," Smith said. "It split her down like it was a banana."

Smith said the wood from the tree, which Ohio State University researchers estimated to be more than 500 years old, will be used by a group of woodworkers to carve statues and toys. He said leftover lumber will be taken to Alley Park.

Smith said the city plans to replace the tree with a new white oak.

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