Michoud Assembly Facility Moon Tree

New Orleans, Louisiana

[Michoud Moon Tree Planting]

A loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) was planted in front of the Michoud Assembly Facility administration building 101 in New Orleans, Louisiana on 20 July 1976. (There are unconfirmed reports that a second loblolly pine was planted on the other side of the sidewalk.) Astronaut Wally Schirra, Lt. Gov. James Fitzmorris, Michoud Manager Robert Littlefield, Marshall Space Flight Center Director William R. Lucas, and Verna Landrieu, head of the New Orleans Bicentennial Commission, took part in the planting ceremony. A time capsule, to be opened in 100 years for the nation's tricentennial, was also buried.

The picture above is from NASA Activities, Volume 7, Issue 10. More details can be found in the NASA Astronautics and Aeronautics story below.

The tree(s) reportedly died sometime prior to 1983.

From NASA SP-4021, Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1976:

21 July: The Marshall Star reported on a Bicentennial celebration at MSFC's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, La., that included planting of a "moon" tree to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the first Apollo landing. Michoud was the place where giant Saturn moon rockets were fabricated. Participating in the program were Lt. Gov. James Fitzmorris of La., MSFC Director Dr. William R. Lucas; and Robert Littlefield, manager of the Michoud facility. The tree was a pine grown from seed carried to the moon and back in 1971 on the Apollo 14 mission as part of research into effects of weightlessness on seed germination. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has planted the returned seeds, and the seedlings had been set out in various public areas over the U.S. such as in Philadelphia's Washington Square. As the tree was planted in front of the Michoud administration building, a time capsule was deposited to be opened during the nation's Tricentennial in 2076. The capsule contained documents, tapes, and pictures relating to the space program.(Marshall Star,21 July 76, 4)

Picture courtesy Fred Kelso
 History of the Moon Loblolly Pines
 Moon Tree Home Page

Dr. David R. Williams, dave.williams@nasa.gov
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dave Williams, david.r.williams@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 11 May 2021, DRW