Moon Trees in Google Earth

Moon Trees in Google EarthJust happened upon this using the Google Earth Community layers in Google Earth. I happened to know about a moon tree at my campus at the University of Arizona. When I clicked on the placemark I discovered a photo of that tree in Google Earth was taken by a good friend of mine, Jim Scotti. It turns out someone has posted a Google Earth file showing the locations of moon trees around the US. What is a moon tree you ask? Here’s a brief explanation:
“Apollo 14 launched in the late afternoon of January 31, 1971 on what was to be our third trip to the lunar surface. Five days later Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the Moon while Stuart Roosa, a former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, orbited above in the command module. Packed in small containers in Roosa’s personal kit were hundreds of tree seeds, part of a joint NASA/USFS project. Upon return to Earth, the seeds were germinated by the Forest Service. Known as the “Moon Trees”, the resulting seedlings were planted throughout the United States (often as part of the nation’s bicentennial in 1976) and the world. They stand as a tribute to astronaut Roosa and the Apollo program.” – From Dave Williams, NASA GSFC – The Moon Trees web site. Go to the site to learn more about the trees and how the seeds were flown and tested.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. If anyone wants to plant their own Moon Trees, Historic Trees offers Sycamore seeds and seedlings from the original Moon trees!
    This year Yuri’s Night made them available to all of our events in celebration of the tradition of planting trees when one returns from space- started by Yuri Gagarin back in 1961!
    We hope you will join us and we can add another layer to the map of Second Generation Moon Trees.

Leave a Reply