Fernwood Botanical Gardens

Niles, Michigan

A sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is growing in Fernwood Botanical Gardens in Niles, Michigan. It was received on Arbor Day, April 22, 1976 and planted the next day in the Fernwood Nature Center Greenhouse. (It was originally intended to be kept at Fernwood only temporarily, and moved to nearby Fort St. Joseph, which was under renovation at the time, but the project was not completed, so the tree was left at Fernwood.) The tree apparently was not healthy at first, likely due to its original seeds coming from Mississippi trees and not being adapted to cold weather. But the tree recovered and a year later it was moved over to a small outdoor nursery on the grounds, with plans to move it to the arboretum. However, the tree was thriving in that location so it was never moved, the area is now the Japanese Gardens.

Three other trees were reportedly sent to Michigan, to Lansing, Jackson, and the town of Wyoming, but none of these are still living.

Moon Trees to fly again - Freshwater Reporter, September 14, 2022
Niles ‘moon tree’ celebrates 50 years - Niles Daily Star, February 4, 2021
Fernwood Botanical Garden

History of the Moon Sycamores
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: 23 May 2024, DRW