Oregon State Capitol Moon Tree

Salem, Oregon

[Salem, Oregon Moon Tree] [Salem, Oregon Statesman-Journal Article] [Salem, Oregon Moon Tree Plaque]

Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) located in Wilson Park at the State Capitol Building in Salem, Oregon. The tree is located about 460 feet to the right (West-Northwest) of the main front entrance to the Capitol Building, near the state flag display.

The tree was planted on Arbor Day, 30 April 1976 by Stuart Roosa, joined by Oregon Governor Bob Straub, Deputy State Forester Frank Sargent, and Bob Perkins, and attended by participants in the YMCA Youth Legislature, as part of the Bicentennial celebration. A picture from the planting is above, from the May 1, 1976 Salem, Oregon Statesman Journal. The tree has been designated as an Oregon Heritage Tree. A dedication ceremony was held on 11 April 2003, including installation of a new sign. (An earlier sign is shown directly below.) The tree is currently not doing well due to crowding by other nearby trees. A plan to remove some trees and prune others is being considered. The pictures above were taken in 2013. Lower tree pictures are from 2002.

The seeds for the Douglas firs that were taken on Apollo 14 were collected in Benton County, Oregon, and El Dorado County, California and sent to the U.S. Forest Service Institute of Forest Genetics (IFG) western station in Placerville, California. Unfortunately the seeds were mixed after the flight, so it is impossible to tell for any of the Douglas firs which lot they came from. The seedlings were grown in Placerville and sent to the Oregon State Forestry Department in early 1976. More detail on the history of the Douglas fir Moon Trees is available.

The tree is located at 44 deg 56.351 min N, 123 deg 01.901 min W.

[Salem, Oregon Moon Tree] [Salem, Oregon Moon Tree] [Salem, Oregon Moon Tree Original Sign]

A statue was commissioned by the Oregon Percent for Art in Public Places Program. Created by Bruce Conkle, the statue was installed at the Oregon Department of transportation headquarters in Salem in the summer of 2013, and features the Apollo 14 Saturn 5 and a Douglas fir Moon Tree.

[Salem, Oregon Moon Tree] [Salem, Oregon Moon Tree] [Salem, Oregon Moon Tree Plaque]

[Bob Perkins letter, p.1] [Bob perkins letter, p.2]
2002 letter from Robert Perkins on the tree planting ceremony.

Photographs at top courtesy of Erica Botkin.
News clipping courtesy Salem Oregon Statesman Journal and T. Byron Miller.
Three photos at center courtesy of Robert Barton.
Two photos at bottom left courtesy of Marne Lucas.
Photo at bottom right courtesy Beth Gordon

 Moon Trees - Bandon Western World, 31 March 2003
 Oregon Moon Tree Pages - Created by Becky Soules (Courtesy of the Wayback Machine)
 Salem Moon Tree - Portland State University History Dept., 30 April 2017
 Apollo 14 Moon Trees - Highway 199

 History of the Moon Tree Douglas Firs
 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: 24 July 2023, DRW