NASA Moon Trees - Sycamore

NASA Moon Trees - Sycamore

A map of North America with a region from the midwest to the eastern United States outlined.The Apollo 14 Mission's Sycamore Moon Trees and other sycamore trees are currently found in the Great Plains states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. They are also found in several southwestern states of Arizona and New Mexico, Utah in the Mountain Region, and across the eastern U.S. in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Please note that sycamore trees are commonly used in landscaping and may be found in parks, arboreta, yards, and other locations well-outside their native range.

Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is a common tree and one of the largest in the eastern deciduous forests. Other names are American planetree, buttonwood, American sycamore, and buttonball-tree. It is a fast-growing and long-lived tree of lowlands and old fields. Sycamore is valuable for timber and is also widely planted as a shade tree because of its distinctive white, exfoliating bark and broad, dense crown. Recently, it has become a favored species for use in intensively cultured "biomass farms" in the Southeastern United States. (Source: USDA Forest Service new window)


How to identify sycamore trees:

Sycamore trees are deciduous trees with zig-zag-edged, three-lobe, dark green leaves. The bark is brown and scale-like. When the scales peel off, the underlying bark is white. It is a large tree with an irregular crown and large, crooked branches, making it an excellent shade tree. It produces globe-shaped fruit just over an inch in diameter on the end of a 3 to 6 inch-long stalk. Learn more:

Sycamore | Missouri Department of Conservation new window

How to Identify the American Sycamore | Washington University Arboretum | Washington University in St. Louis ( new window

Several free apps will help you identify tree species, including LeafSnap new windowiNaturalist new window, or Pl@ntNet new window. 


Example images of sycamore trees:

Left image: sycamore tree (Credit: NASA); upper right: sycamore bark (Credit: Washington University Arboretum); middle right: sycamore leaf (Credit: GLOBE); lower right: sycamore seed ball (Credit: Washington University Arboretum)


How to participate in the quest for sycamore trees:

1.  Identify a sycamore tree, then use the Trees tool in the GLOBE Observer app to measure the tree's height and, if you have a tape measure, record its circumference. Please make sure that you can clearly see the top and bottom of the tree and that you can walk to the base of the tree from an origin point of 25-75 feet away. Before submitting your observation, please type "#MoonTree" in the comment box.

2. The app will notify you if you are within a certain distance from from an existing Apollo 14 Sycamore Moon Tree. If you are able to find a specific Apollo 14 Sycamore Moon Tree, please take a tree height observation (and optional tree circumference if you have a tape measure handy) and before submitting your observation, please type "#MoonTree" in the comment box.

Note: Our information regarding the location and status of the existing Apollo 14 Moon Trees is based on the NASA Moon Trees Archive new window. Some information may have changed since the latest update in the archive or the information may lack precision. Also, there may be Moon Trees for which we don’t have a confirmed location. Some are included in the Moon Trees Archive, but there may be more. Please send us updates, including information about Moon Trees not on our list, through our contact form. Thank you!


Accessible Apollo 14 Sycamore Moon Trees:

(Click on the links below to learn more about each of the Apollo 14 Moon Trees from the NASA Moon Trees Archive):


Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham Botanical Gardens new window. Latitude: 33.4906, Longitude: -86.7763. 2612 Lane Park Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223


Tucson, Arizona. Kuiper Space Sciences Building, University of Arizona new window. Latitude: 32.2323, Longitude: -110.9474. 1629 E University Blvd Tucson AZ 85721


Gainesville, Florida. University of Florida new window. Latitude: 29.6449, Longitude: -82.3467. 225 Center Dr. Gainesville, FL 32611

Keystone Heights, Florida. Keystone Heights Library new window. Latitude: 29.7815, Longitude: -82.0304. 175 Oriole St, Keystone Heights, FL 32656

*Merritt Island, Florida. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Latitude: 28.6047, Longitude: -80.6688, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Merritt Island, Florida 32953 (*There are 12 trees, which are descendants of original Apollo Moon Trees. These trees were planted after an original Apollo Moon Tree suffered unrecoverable damage by Hurricane Irma. Rosemary Roosa, daughter of astronaut Stuart Roosa, provided these trees.)

Tallahassee, Florida. Cascades Park new window. Latitude: 30.4339, Longitude: -84.2802. 1001 S Gadsden St, Tallahassee, FL 32301


Indianapolis, Indiana. Indiana Statehouse new window. Latitude: 39.7683, Longitude: -86.1620. 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Lincoln City, Indiana. Lincoln State Park new window. Latitude: 38.1020, Longitude: -86.9986. 15476 County Rd 300 E, Lincoln City, IN 47552


Atchison, Kansas. International Forest of Friendship new window. Latitude: 39.5320, Longitude: -95.1489. Allingham Dr, Atchison, KS 66002


Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center new window. Latitude: 38.9926, Longitude: -76.8465. 9432 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20771


Holliston, Massachusetts. Holliston Police Station new window. Latitude: 42.1423, Longitude: -71.2564. 550 Washington St, Holliston, MA 01746


Starkville, Mississippi. Dorman Hall, Mississippi State University new window. Latitude: 33.4548, Longitude: -88.7945. Stone Blvd, Starkville, MS 39759


DeSoto, Missouri. Walther Park new window. Latitude: 38.1244, Longitude: -90.5589. 1503 Veterans Drive, DeSoto, MO 63020

New Jersey

Freehold, New Jersey. Monmouth County Courthouse new window. Latitude: 40.2645, Longitude: -74.2793. 133 Court St, Freehold, NJ 07728

New Mexico

Silver City, New Mexico. Gough Park new window. Latitude: 32.7781, Longitude: -108.2748. 1201 N Pope St, Silver City, NM 88061

North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina. Botanical Garden at Asheville new window. Latitude: 35.6126, Longitude: -82.566. 151 WT Weaver Blvd, Asheville, NC 28804

Clyde, North Carolina. Haywood Community College new window. Latitude: 35.5254, Longitude: -82.929. 185 Freedlander Dr, Clyde, NC 28721

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. Cradle of Forestry new window. Latitude: 35.3499, Longitude: -82.7806. US-276, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768


Rayland, Ohio. Friendship Park new window. Latitude: 40.2859, Longitude: -80.769. Friendship Park Rd, Rayland, OH 43943


Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Coudersport Area Recreational Park new window. Latitude: 41.7821, Longitude: -78.0177. Carp Park Road Coudersport, PA, 16915

Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. Dillsburg Elementary School new window. Latitude: 40.1072, Longitude: -77.0327. 202 S Chestnut St, Dillsburg, PA 17019

Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. Cambria County Courthouse new window. Latitude: 40.4841, Longitude: -78.7248. 217 S Center St #2, Ebensburg, PA 15931

Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. Highland Hall new window. Latitude: 40.1072, Longitude: -77.0327. Highland Hall, 517 Walnut St, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Lockheed Martin new window. Latitude: 40.0893, Longitude: -75.4001. 301 Goddard Blvd, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Core Creek Park new window. Latitude: 40.2009, Longitude: -74.9203. Park Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047

Topton, Pennsylvania. Topton Mini Museum new window. Latitude: 40.9881, Longitude: -75.7011. 41 Keller St. Topton, PA 19562


Sewanee, Tennessee. University of the South new window. Latitude: 35.2036, Longitude: -85.9189. 735 University Ave, Sewanee, TN 37383


Draper, Utah. Lone Peak Conservation Center new window. Latitude: 40.4879, Longitude: -111.899. 251 West Bitterbrush Lane, Draper, UT 84020


Doswell, Virginia. Kings Dominion Amusement Park new window. Latitude: 37.8395, Longitude: -77.4455. 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA 23047


To see the locations of all known Moon Trees, visit the NASA Moon Trees Archive new window. We extend a special thank you to Dr. David Williams, Acting Head, NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Planetary Scientist, Planetary Data System Management Office, and Curator of the NASA Moon Trees Archive, without which the NASA Moon Trees Quest would not be possible. The NASA Moon Trees Archive includes more about the history of the Apollo 14 Moon Trees, descriptions of individual Moon Trees, and associated resources.