A Remarkable American sycamore

Tree Information
Common Name: American sycamore
Scientific name: Platanus occidentalis
Category: Historic tree
Notes: This tree is known in Hampton as the "moon tree." During the Apollo 14 Mission, astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell had sycamore seeds aboard their lunar module when they landed on the moon on February 5, 1971. Upon returning to Earth, the seeds were planted and proved to be viable. After the trees had grown for several years, the seedlings were given to several cities throughout the U.S. Hampton was one of the cities selected. A poetry/prose contest in the elementary schools was conducted to see who would get the seedling. Marjorie White, a sixth grader at Booker Elementary School, was the winner. On April 16, 1976 a ceremony was held at the school during which the Moon seedling was planted in front of the school. There were dignitaries from the city, including Sen. Hunter Booker Andrews. The Kecoughtan High School Band played for the occasion and the event received media coverage. Subsequently the seedling was moved to the courtyard of Booker Elementary. It is interesting that the seed went into space in an Apollo spacecraft and found a home on Apollo Drive.
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Nominator: Rebecca Terrill
Location of Tree
County/City: Hampton
Name of tree owner: City of Hampton
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