Athens Moon Tree
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) located at the Clarke County Planning Department in Athens, Georgia.
It was planted around May 1976 at the Athens Regional Public Library. The library later moved
to a new building and the site is now home to the Clarke County Planning Department at
120 Dougherty Street.
The exact date of the planting is not known, it is mentioned in the 20 May 1976 minutes of
the Clarke County Library Board.
The upper news clipping (Athens Site Selected For Rare 'Moon Tree') is from the
Athens, Georgia, Banner-Herald News, January 18, 1976.
The clipping below (The Moon Tree Arrives) is from the Banner Herald of May 16, 1976, stating
the tree was planted "recently" by the Athens Sertoma Club and local dignitaries.
The tree was in danger of being removed for a development project, but that
was averted. The tree has now been officially designated a cultural resource and a
A rededication ceremony was held on 7 May 2021.
The seeds for the loblolly pines were collected in Livingston Parish, Lousiana,
and New Kent County, Virginia, and seeds from these lots were given to Stuart Roosa to
take on Apollo 14. Unfortunately they were mixed together during the
decontamination procedure after the flight so it is not possible to know which location
this tree came from. The seeds were grown at the forest station in Gulfport Mississippi and
distributed to Georgia in 1976.
The tree is located at 120 W. Dougherty St. in downtown Athens.
Picture was taken in 2019.
On 13 June 2023, the Athens Moon Tree was officially placed on the Landmark and Historic Tree Register
by the Georgia Tree Council.
Upper left photograph and clippings courtesy of Amy Hager
Upper right picture credit Google Maps
Georgia Tree Council images courtesy Melanie Jattuso Ford
As a seed, it orbited the Moon on Apollo 14. 50 years later, this Athens pine is 'thriving'
Athens Banner-Herald, 15 January 2021
History of the Moon Loblolly Pines
Moon Tree Home Page
Dr. David R. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
NASA Official: Dave Williams, email@example.com
Last Updated: 29 June 2023, DRW