Moon Tree Accession Documents

U.S. Forest Service

[Forest Service Accession Document]

This is page 2 from the U.S. Forest Service Accessions of Plant Materials document (Also called the "List of Lots") from the Institute of Forest Genetics (IFG) in Placerville, California showing the Moon Tree coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) seeds. On the top row outlined in red (click on the image for a larger version without the outline) it says:

Seeds of LotX were sent to Dr. Walkinshaw, NASA
for Lt. Cdr. Rossa to take along on the Apollo XIV
flight. See SO CO-1 file and 4100 NASA

Obviously the "Lt. Cdr. Rossa" is a typo and should be "Roosa". This is the record of the return of the seeds that were originally sent to Dr. Charles H. Walkinshaw, given to Stuart Roosa, flown to the Moon on Apollo 14, and returned to Earth. "LotX" refers to the source lot from which the seeds were taken. More on this below. It states in the first columns "Rec. 7/25/75" and next to that is a "72?"" in pencil. Below it is "SO". The fifth column indicates they were received as seeds (S). This is recording the transfer of the seeds to the Placerville IFG from the Gulfport, Mississippi, IFG, which did in fact take place on 25 July 1972, not 1975. The seeds are listed as Lot AI.

The line below this describes the next accession:

Cuttings taken from the seedlings resulting from
Lot AI. LCJ 9/2/75

The sender is listed as IFG (Institute for Forest Genetics), and the "C" indicates cuttings. These are Moon Tree cuttings taken from the seedlings. This is dated 9/2/75, and these cuttings are designated Lot AJ. (The cuttings were started on 3 January and 28 February 1975, more detail below.)

The column labelled "Lot" starts with "Z" and at the top of the origin column it states "Lots A thru Y, see page 1". "Lot X" is the collection of seeds from which the Moon Tree seeds were taken, it is described on page 1, below:
[Forest Service Accession Document]
The section outlined in red shows Lot X, the source of the coastal redwood Moon Tree seeds. (Click on the image for a larger PDF version without the outline.) The date is given as 1966, and Carl Fowler is listed as the collector. (There is a note in the next column that says "Coll. by Doug Jager", but the IFG letter and Stutts notes list Carl Fowler as the collector.) The third column also says:
near Soquel: lat 37˚N, long. 121˚50'W
elev. 1200', see attached

It is not clear what the attached document was. The latitude and longitude given is just east of Soquel, California, in Santa Cruz county. The seeds were collected there in 1966, stored at Placerville, and then seeds from this lot were sent to NASA. Below are notes from the List of Lots document:
[Forest Service Accession Document Notes]
The part in red describes Lot AI: the seeds taken on Apollo 14, and Lot AJ: the cuttings from these plants. Lot AI were sent to Placerville from SO (the IFG southern office in Gulfport, Mississippi) and germinated in August 1972. Cuttings from the seedlings were requested by Stan Krugman, and taken and rooted when the seedlings were three years old, on 3 January and 28 February 1975. The plan was to obtain 100 cuttings, we have reports that a total of 102 root cuttings were taken and 93 survived.

The final document from the IFG file is a note from R.A. Stutts dated 1 May 2007:
[Forest Service Accession Document Stutts Note]
This describes the source history of the Capitol Moon Tree, a coastal redwood in Sacramento. It gives the date the Lot X seeds were sent to NASA (15 January 1971), the date the seeds were returned to IFG (25 July 1972), and the date the 9 seedlings were sent to the California State Forester, Ron Adams, for planting. It also matches the other documentation, indicating the seeds for the coastal redwood Moon Trees were collected in 1966 by Carl Fowler near Soquel, California. The ramets (or clones) referred to are the root cuttings.


These copies of the original documents held at the U.S.F.S. Institute of Forest Genetics western station in Placerville, California, tell us that the Moon Tree coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) seeds were collected in 1966 east of Soquel, California (near 37.00 N, 121.83 W, at an elevation of 1200 ft.) by Carl Fowler. The seeds were logged in and stored at Placerville as Lot X. On 15 January 1971, seeds from Lot X were sent to Dr. Charles Walkinshaw at NASA for Stuart Roosa to carry on Apollo 14. The seeds were returned to Placerville on 25 July 1972 and logged as Lot AI. The seeds were germinated in August, 1972 and seedlings grown at Placerville. On 3 January and 28 February, 1975, at the request of Stan Krugman, cuttings were taken and rooted, these were logged as Lot AJ. On 2 April 1976, 9 seedlings from Lot AI and two root cuttings from Lot AJ were sent to the California State Forester Ron Adams to be planted at various locations in California for the U.S. bicentennial. (This may be an error, other records indicate only 7 seedlings were sent.)

A more detailed history of the Moon Tree coastal redwoods is available.

Accession scan courtesy Erica Botkin and the Placerville Institute of Forest Genetics

Larger version of the accession log page 1 (pdf)

Larger version of the accession log page 2

Moon Tree Home Page

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

NASA Official: Dr. David R. Williams,
Last Updated: 2 April 2021, DRW