Kennedy Space Center Moon Tree

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Kennedy Tree 2012 kennedy tree plaque kennedy tree plaque

A sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) Moon Tree was planted at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on 25 June 1976, as part of the "Third Century America" Science and Technology Exposition. Taking part in the planting ceremony were Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell, Florida Agriculture Secretary Doyle Conner, and Associate Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Rex Resler. A telegram from President Gerald Ford was read, and Mitchell said the tree "will stand as a testimonial for man's ability to do great things." The picture above left was taken in 2012 and above right in 2002. The article and picture below left and center are from the June 26, 1976 Orlando Sentinel. The picture above right and article below right are from The Spectrum & Daily News, Nov. 16, 2002. The tree was planted in the courtyard of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

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Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma knocked the tree over on 11 September 2017. It has since been replaced by a "Moon Tree Garden", a collection of 12 descendents of the original tree, planted on 12 July 2019. There are also statues in the garden carved from wood from the original tree, and paintings made using sawdust from the tree. The garden is located between the Saturn V building and the Banana River launch-viewing stands.

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Images of Kennedy Space Center Moon Tree and "Moon tree" planting notice for June 25, 1976

Upper left tree image courtesy of Darlene Squibb.
Top center plaque and lower tree images courtesy of Lane Hermann.
Center left article courtesy the Orlando Sentinel.
Edgar Mitchell picture credit Gordon Williamson.
Center right article courtesy The Spectrum & Daily News and Florida Today,
picture credit Michael R. Brown. Used with permission.
Lower tree planting notice credit Florida Today.

The "Moon Tree Garden" - Florida Hikes!
Artist adds touch of moon (tree) dust for Apollo 14 50th anniversary - collectSPACE
Article on Kennedy Space Center Moon Tree
Moon Tree destroyed by hurricane Irma - Spaceflight Insider, 16 September, 2017 (Courtesy Internet Archive)
'Moon Tree' that traveled on Apollo mission and planted at KSC toppled by Hurricane Irma - Florida Today, 21 September 2017

Moon Tree Home Page

Dr. David R. Williams,
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dave Williams,
Last Updated: 28 August 2023, DRW