When I visited Capitol Park in Sacramento, I was overwhelmed by all the different varieties of trees covering the grounds. I actually didn’t get a chance to see them all; so I have at least one good excuse for going back again. Luckily, this episode of California’s Gold stuck in my memory, and I spent a few minutes hunting up the resident Moon Tree. It’s a beautiful coastal redwood, very tall and impressive, giving wonderful shade on a warm day. If it weren’t for the small green sign, I might not have been able to tell there was anything unusual about it! And yet just knowing where the seeds of this tree traveled nearly 50 years ago — not to mention that the tree was nearly removed for renovation at one point — makes this one of the most amazing trees in the entire park.
Apollo 14 launched in the late afternoon of January 31, 1971. Inside, astronaut Stuart Roosa had packed a small container filled with hundreds of tree seeds. After splashdown these seeds were germinated and planted all over the world. Join Huell as he starts his quest to find the Moon Trees. First stop is at the Placerville Forest Service where we meet up with one of the people who actually helped plant the seeds, then we’ll travel all around the State to find where the Moon Trees are still standing.