Kuiper poses with a Douglas Fir tree and an art plaque featuring a rocket.

Boise, Idaho Moon Tree

Kuiper lifts his gaze to the heavens at the Apollo 14 moon tree in Boise, ID. Here’s the tree in its entirety, as well as a close-up of its (extremely cool) plaque! This is our sixth moon tree picture, and our second Loblolly Pine. Many thanks to Principal Adria for granting us permission to visit her school’s tree in an area where dogs are not normally allowed.

Before he became an astronaut, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa was a smokejumper (one of the brave firefighters who parachute in to fight wildfires.) On January 31, 1971, he brought 500 seeds aboard #Apollo14 as a tribute to the US #ForestService. While Commander Shepard and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell were collecting rocks and playing golf on the moon, Stuart stayed aboard the command module to take pictures, do SCIENCE and prepare for the journey back to Earth.

Unfortunately, upon returning home the seed container was accidentally exposed to vacuum during decontamination procedures. ? Dear reader, the canister EXPLODED. ? None of the seeds were expected to survive. However, the Forest Service decided to give them a chance. They carefully separated all five species of tree seeds and divided them between two Forest Service stations, one in California and one in Mississippi.

To their astonishment most of the seeds germinated!! Most of the trees were planted around the country as part of the US bicentennial celebration in 1976. Out of over 400 seedlings, around 50 trees are still alive and accounted for. Here’s the list! Any moon trees near you?

✔️✔️✔️ Douglas Fir
✔️ Sycamore
✔️✔️ Loblolly Pine
❌ Sweetgum
❌ Redwood

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmtoP-kgGTK/

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