Scott Jenkins Memorial Park Moon Tree
Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) planted originally by R. Max Peterson on his private land near Hamilton, in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The land has been turned into the Scott Jenkins Memorial Park, just east of Hamilton off business route 7.
The tree stands in a grove not far from the park entrance (see map below).
Enter the park and go to the parking lot on the left. The
sign is by the road on the right just as you get to the
Unfortunately the sign is somewhat misleading,
The tree in front of the sign is not the Moon Tree, even
though the sign refers to the tree "before you". The actual
tree is not visible from the sign, but can be seen by walking
roughly 20 feet to the right of the sign.
It is marked by the red arrow in the picture above.
You can get a better view from the east southeast side of the
grove, which is where the first picture is taken from.
The red dot on the aerial view below marks the approximate location of the tree.
It is also easier to see in the fall - these pictures were
taken in October - when the tree is orange and yellow. It
would normally be green and probably much harder to
distinguish in the grove of trees.
The tree was planted circa September 1978. It now stands about 60 feet tall.
It is located at 39.1366 N, 77.6372 W.
The photographs at the bottom of the page show the tree in 2005 on what was
still private land at the time.
Max Peterson was given the sapling by Stan Krugman, scientist in charge of the Moon Tree program for the Forest Service.
Peterson was Deputy Chief of the Forest Service at the time. The sapling was sickly, but Peterson managed to nurse it
back to health and plant it on his property. Peterson said the tree's growth was slowed when it was about 8 to 10
feet tall because the deer "seemed to seek it out to rub their horns on in the spring". He became Chief of the U.S.
Forest Service in 1979 and remained in that position until 1987, when he retired and became the first Chief Emeritus.
He is shown below standing in front of the Moon Tree in 2005. Max passed away on 14 January 2014.
Photographs at top and center of page credit Dave Williams and Nancy Rogers
Aerial view credit Google Maps
Photographs at bottom of page courtesy Max Peterson
Moon Tree flourishes in Loudoun - Loudoun Times-Mirror (Courtesy Wayback Machine)
History of the Sweetgum Moon Trees
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: 28 October 2022, DRW