Coudersport Community Honors 'Moon Tree' With Commemorative Plaque

Apr 29, 2021

Coudersport's moon tree came from seeds that orbited the moon 34 times in 1971 on the Apollo 14 trip, and now a ceremony will officially mark it in the town.
Credit Samantha Sallade

On Saturday, Coudersport, Pennsylvania – in Potter County – will commemorate its very own “moon tree.” The sycamore tree started off as a seed that went up in Apollo 14 in 1971 and orbited the moon 34 times. The moon tree ceremony will take place at Coudersport Area Recreational Park, where the tree is planted.

The ceremony will feature speeches from NASA astronaut David Williams and the son of astronaut Stuart Roosa. Rocks painted by elementary school children with a moon tree theme will be placed around the base of the tree.

Samantha Sallade is a community member who helped organize the event. She said the ceremony will recognize the significance of the tree, which has gone unmarked for years.

“The plaque never ended up with the tree so it just sat there… nobody knowing and you pass it all the time in CARP Park," Sallade said.

Moon trees are planted across the United States including seven in Pennsylvania, including in Hollidaysburg and Ebensburg.

Sallade said it seems the moon trip didn’t affect the seeds, but she hopes the ceremony will bring out the uniqueness of the tree in Coudersport.

“It's just something special that we get to have for this tiny little town. It’s just something to remind people that no matter where you are, important things have happened — and this is an important, historical, very interesting thing that we happen to have here," Sallade said.