Lone Peak Moon Tree
Utah has a sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) Moon Tree at what is
now known as the Lone Peak Conservation Center, next to the
state prison in Draper. The tree was planted circa 1976.
The original site was a state owned nursery, the Lone Peak Nursery.
Due to its proximity to
the prison, inmates worked in the nursery until the 1990s.
The nursery was taken over by a private company and renamed the High Mountain Nursery.
The tree is still under the care of the State Forestry Department.
The red building next to the Moon Tree is the
State Forestry Department’s Lone Peak office.
The building was expanded in the 1990's, but the architect designed it with the
tree in mind, to ensure it was not disturbed and provide irrigation.
Fittingly, as Stuart Roosa
was a Forest Service smokejumper, the building is home to the
Utah Lone Peak Hotshot wildland firefighters.
The state prison is being relocated. The land, including the Moon Tree,
is planned for sale and redevelopment.
The fate of the tree is unknown at this time.
It has been reported that the tree is suffering from the fungal disease, anthracnose,
as of summer 2020.
The seeds for the sycamores taken on Apollo 14 were originally collected in
Claiborne County, Mississippi and the seedlings grown at the Institute of
Forest Genetics (IFG) southern station in Gulfport, Mississippi.
A second Utah
Moon Douglas fir planted at the State Capitol
was destroyed by a freak tornado in August, 1999.
According to the 29 April 1976 Utah Beaver Press (see clipping below) four seedlings were
sent to Utah, two Douglas firs and two sycamores. The other trees are unaccounted for.
Top two right, middle left, and lower photographs courtesy of Ken Roberts.
Upper left and middle right photographs courtesy Beth Gordon
Article credit Utah Beaver Press.
The story behind Utah’s lone surviving ‘moon tree’ - KSL NewsRadio (15 August 2019)
Uniquely Utah: The 'Moon Tree' - Fox 13 Salt Lake City (18 August 2019)
Utah’s lone surviving Moon Tree faces uncertain future - KSL NewsRadio (20 July 2020)
Moon Tree Home Page
Dr. David R. Williams, email@example.com
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
NASA Official: Dr. David R. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 7 April 2021, DRW