Utah Capitol Moon Tree

Salt Lake City, Utah

[Salt Lake City Tree Article]

A Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) Moon Tree was planted on the State Capitol lawn in Salt Lake City immediately west of the Capitol. (Some reports give the location as next to the Mormon Battalion Monument, which is southeast of the building. Reports, including the Utah State capitol grounds report below, also give the tree as a sycamore, but the newspaper article and picture appear to confirm it is a Douglas fir.) A "mock planting" of the tree was held at the Capitol on 28 April 1976, but because the tree was only three feet tall at the time, it was taken to a greenhouse. It was grown there for a few years until it reached a size that was judged large enough to be able to survive outside on the Capitol lawn. The actual planting date is not known at this writing. On August 11, 1999 the tree was split in half by a freak F2 tornado that hit the city, and was subsequently removed.

According to the 29 April 1976 Utah Beaver Press (see clipping below) four seedlings were sent to Utah, two Douglas firs and two sycamores. One sycamore was planted at the Lone Peak Nursery, now the Lone Peak Conservation Center, in Draper. The other two trees are unaccounted for, but the Douglas firs match the forest service records that two were allocated to Utah.

[Utah Capitol Report] [Salt Lake City Article Picture] [Salt Lake City Article Picture]
Page from the Utah State Capitol
Planning & Historic Structures Report.

Upper article clipping courtesy of Ken Roberts.
Upper article courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Lower article credit Utah Beaver Press.

Utah State Capitol Grounds - Salt Lake City, Utah

Lone Peak Moon Tree - Draper, Utah

History of the Douglas Fir Moon Trees
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: 30 May 2024, DRW