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What is a Moon Tree?

On January 31, 1971, Apollo 14 lifted off for the third trip to the lunar surface. Included in the cargo on the space ship were some small canisters packed with tree seeds of five species: Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood, and Douglas Fir. After the mission concluded, the seeds were planted and grown to seedlings, which were then distributed around the country and planted in a variety of locations including at the White House. Here in Athens, GA, we have a Moon Tree planted at the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department, although it is not on any official lists. Many of these trees were planted around the Southeast, and perhaps you have one in your city. Here are some links to the history of the Moon Trees as well as a partial listing of where these trees were planted.

NASA: The “Moon Trees”

NASA: What on Earth are “Moon Trees”?

USDA: Where the Moon Trees Grow

Moon Tree emblem. Source: NASA