Washington Square Moon Tree

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

[Philadelphia Moon Tree]

Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) planted 6 May 1975 in Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This was the first official Moon Tree planted to celebrate the nation's bicentennial.
Sadly, the tree died circa 2008. The picture above shows the base of the tree in 2011.

A clone grown from a cutting of the tree was planted in this spot in a planting ceremony on 24 September 2011 (National Public Lands Day). For more information, see the CBS News story

Atlas Obscura story and picture of the new Moon Tree

[Philadelphia Moon Tree] [Philadelphia Moon Tree Plaque]

Seen above is the Moon Tree when it was healthy, circa 2000.
Located at Walnut Street & Independence Mall West.
39 deg 56.853 min N, 75 deg 9.090 min W

[brochure for Philadelphia tree planting] [Philadelphia Moon Tree]
Moon Tree planting announcement (courtesy Jane Alling, McLean Library)

[brochure for Philadelphia tree planting] [brochure for Philadelphia tree planting]
Newspaper clippings of the original planting. The first image shows Stuart Roosa and Woodsie the Owl at the Moon Tree planting on May 6, 1975. The caption under the second image reads, "Cub Scout David Burnett, 8, of West Chester, studies the plaque marking the site of the first "moon tree" (background) planted during the national Bicentennial. In ceremonies yesterday at Washington Square, astronaut Stuart Roosa, who carried the seed for this and other trees on a trip to the moon, assisted in planting the tree to mark the contributions forests have made to our way of life. During the Bicentennial year, each state will have its own "moon tree" planted in similar ceremonies."
(Reprinted by permission from The Philadelphia Daily News, May 7, 1975)

A first-hand description of the Philadelphia Moon Tree Ceremony written by Howard Burnett

Image at top of page courtesy of Alex Lauderdale
Images in center of page courtesy of Christopher Palmer
Lower tree image courtesy of Lucy Black
News clippings courtesy of David Burnett

 Description of the Philadelphia Moon Tree Ceremony
 History of Washington Square
 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: Dr. David R. Williams, david.r.williams@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 12 July 2016, DRW