The Moon Trees

By Hillary HeathCool Tree Facts, Urban TreesComments are off

On January 31st, 1971, Apollo 14 was launched for the third trip to the moon.

Former U.S. Forestry Service smoke jumper, Stuart Roosa was on board manning the command module, “Kitty Hawk”. As part of a USFS/NASA project, Roosa was sent to space with hundreds of tree seeds.

The seeds were carefully selected and five different species were chosen: Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood, and Douglas Fir. A group of control seeds were kept on Earth while the others went to orbit.

The seeds orbited the moon with the astronauts.

Upon return to Earth, the seeds were germinated by the Forest Service.

Nearly all the seeds that went to space germinated and produced saplings. Many were planted alongside their control counterparts, with no discernible difference between them after years of observation.

Other Moon Trees were given away in 1975 and 1976 as part of the nations bicentennial celebration and were planted in state forests.

Some of the trees were sent to Brazil, Switzerland, and Japan.

A Loblolly Pine is planted at the White House, others are planted in Washington Square in Philadelphia, at Valley Forge, in the International Forest of Friendship, and various universities and NASA Centers.

Unfortunately, no records were kept of the exact locations of the Moon Trees. For a list of the believed locations of Moon Trees visit this link to the NASA website.