Perhaps these trees do talk back! In January 1971, Astronaut Stuart Roosa selected seeds from five different trees to take to the moon on Apollo 14. Upon their return to earth, some of the seeds were sent to Bill at the Harrison Experimental Forestry Station in Gulfport, Mississippi. The seeds were planted, celebrated and continue to share their story; “moon trees” and their direct descendents (baby moons) are planted across the world. Some trees were planted in 1976 to celebrate our Bicentennial. Another moon pine was planted in honor of Bill Mauldin in McHenry, Mississippi at the George Austin McHenry House and yet another in honor of Astronaut Fred Haise on the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College — his alma mater.
The “moon trees” continue to flourish, a living monument to our first visits to the Moon and a fitting memorial to Stuart Roosa, Bill Mauldin, and our space program.
“This story was told in its entirety as part of the Telling Trees story gathering project in Stone County, MS with assistance from the MS Humanities Council and the National Humanities Council.” Kathryn Lewis, project director.