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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Bicentennial Moon Tree Clone

A sycamore seed that flew to the Moon was germinated back on Earth and planted here in 1975. It was dead by 2011, so a clone was planted in its stead. The original bronze plaque remains.

S. 6th St., Philadelphia, PA
Center City, in Washington Square Park. Walk into the park on the southwest corner of Walnut and S. 6th Sts, and you'll immediately see the Moon Tree on the left of the paved path. Look for the low rock with the plaque bolted to it.
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Moon Tree plaque.

Bicentennial Moon Tree Clone

In 1971 a NASA astronaut Stuart Roosa took hundreds of seeds into orbit around the Moon as an experiment to see if they would still germinate and grow when brought back to Earth. In 1975 the first of these seeds was planted in Philadelphia to help celebrate the country's upcoming Bicentennial.

This sycamore tree grew -- but unfortunately was dead by 2011. But officials thought ahead. Using space-age technology, they cloned the tree and planted a new seedling later that year. When we visited in September 2018, it wasn't looking so good (Rumor has it it was removed again in October 2018).

[Mike Gassmann, 11/03/2018]

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In the region:
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