Tilden Nature Area Moon Trees

Berkeley, California

[Tilden Nature Area Moon Tree] [Tilden Nature Area Moon Tree] [Tilden Tree Article]

[Berkeley Gazette Article on the Moon Tree] [Tilden Botanical Garden Moon Tree] [Tilden Botanical Garden Moon Tree Plaque]

Two coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) were planted at the Tilden Nature Area in Berkeley, California. One tree (the large tree trunk in the center of first picture, tall tree on right in second picture) was planted on 26 July 1976 at the Environmental Education Center. There is no longer a plaque with this tree, but it is located outside the nature center. The intersection of two benches just outside the nature center points generally in the direction of the tree, which is about ten feet away.

The second Moon Tree (center picture, second row) is in the redwood grove of the botanical garden, in bed 723, marked by a plaque (above), at 37.89 N, 122.24 W. The grove is behind the statue of Charles Tilden shown below. The article at top right is from the 25 July 1976 Oakland Tribune. The article above left is from the 10 September 1976 Berkeley Gazette. The article below is from the 27 July 1976 San Francisco Chronicle. Below is the text from the Oakland Tribune article (above) on the first Moon Tree planting.

The seedling was sent from the U.S.F.S. Institute of Forest Genetics station in Placerville, California. The original seeds were collected in Santa Cruz County near Soquel, California.

[Tilden Statue] [Tilden Tree Article]


BERKELEY - A coast redwood tree grown from a seed that made the trip to the moon with astronaut Maj. Stuart A. Roosa on Apollo 14 will be planted in Tilden Park tomorrow.

The redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which has grown almost 4 feet tall at the U.S. Forest Service's nursery at Placerville since its moon trip five years ago, will be dedicated to the people of the Eastbay.

The young tree will be located near the main entrance to Regional Park District's Environmental Education Center.

Participating in the "moon tree" planting, and unveiling of a bronze dedication plaque at 10 a.m., will be officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the state departments of conservation and of parks and recreation and the Society of American Foresters.

Accepting the unusual gift will be representatives of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and the regional park district.

The tree seeds were carried to the moon and back in a tiny container by Air Force astronaut Maj. Roosa, the command module pilot of Apollo 14. Maj. Roosa played the "moon tree" role because he had once been a smokejumper fighting forest fires and was interested in the preservation of our forests.

The container of seeds circled the moon for 33 hours and 31 minutes, while astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell made the moon landing and carried out spectacular experiments witnessed via television on earth.

The "moon tree" planting site is located in the northwest area of Tilden Park, north of the intersection of Canyon [Canon] Drive and Central Park Drive. A picnic lunch for participants will follow the planting and dedication.

From the Oakland Tribune Sun. July 25, 1976

First tree and statue photographs courtesy of Erica Botkin,
other photographs courtesy Adam Stiffler.
Upper article credit the Oakland Tribune.
Middle article credit the Berkeley Gazette.
Lower article credit the San Francisco Chronicle.

 'Moon trees' mark Tilden Regional Park - Mercury News, 27 November 2015
 Where to find California's moon trees - Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2019

 History of the Moon Tree Coast Redwoods
 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: 12 September 2023, DRW