Pentacrest to receive new tree on Thursday

After a nearly 50-year-old Pentacrest tree was damaged by strong winds this fall, the University of Iowa is planting a new tree on Thursday morning.


Katie Goodale

A European Larch tree is seen fallen on the Pentacrest on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019.

Eleanor Hildebrandt, News Reporter

The University of Iowa will plant a new tree on the Pentacrest on Thursday at 10 a.m. to replace a half-century-old tree lost to a thunderstorm in early September.

At the UI Student Government meeting Tuesday night, UI President Bruce Harreld said the replacement tree is currently being shipped in from the Chicago suburbs. If the weather permits, he said, it will be planted later this week.

“There is a fifteen-year-old, large tree that is being shipped down to campus on Wednesday,” Harreld said. “On Thursday morning, there will be a ceremony where the old tree once was. It won’t be the same size as the old tree yet, but we have time.”

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Pentacrest Museums Communications Coordinator Jessica Smith said the university values its tree population — and the Pentacrest tree was certainly important and included in that.

RELATED: ‘It had a real grace to it’: UI says goodbye to quirky but loved Pentacrest tree

“The trees themselves create an atmosphere here that invites nature up to our front door and provides shade and comfort and a home for the animals,” Smith said in September when the original tree fell. “The Old Capitol Museum is such an iconic building … people come to take photos there and the trees are a part of that experience.”

Harreld said Tuesday that the new tree will be planted in the same spot as its predecessor. However, he said that the replacement will be stronger than the old tree and he hopes it will last at least as long. The new tree has nostalgic similarities to the past one, he added.

“It has a limb that is closer to the ground, like the old tree,” he said. “It will still be photogenic, and you can climb on it.”


Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated that the tree was struck by lightning. This has been changed to reflect that the tree was damaged by strong winds. The Daily Iowan regrets this error.