Archive 2008 - 2019

More on the Moon Tree

by Carol Holly

A miracle of nature helps to frame the sparkling new Police Station in downtown Holliston. There grows an American sycamore, Platanus occidentalis, otherwise known to locals as ‘The Moon Tree’. In 1971, the original seed for this marvel traveled on the Apollo 14 Lunar Mission spacecraft to the Moon. After a safe return to Earth, all the seeds on the ship were distributed to the 50 United States, two to each state. Massachusetts received its two seeds, which were germinated by the Forestry Service, and Holliston was honored with one of the germinated seeds.

The Holliston Garden Club was invited to plant and care for it, but since it was not yet viable in a permanent location, the Garden Club asked Weston Nurseries, expert in tree horticulture, to watch over its growth until it was large enough to transplant. By 1983, our ‘Moon Tree’ was a strong young sapling, and was then planted in front of the Police Station as part of the club’s annual Arbor Day celebration.

Twenty-seven years later, the Town was careful to fence in and protect the tree during the year-long construction of our new Police Station. Ours was the one of the two Massachusetts seeds that survived (the other town’s seed having perished), and it is now 50 feet tall, proud and healthy, reminding us of America’s accomplishments in space, and of its national, state and local connection.

The garden club continues its focus on tree planting each year on Arbor Day and through its Treespotters Committee, which has produced a survey which evaluated all the trees planted by the club since 1953. A copy of the survey will be in the Historical Room of the Holliston Library after June 2011, for all townsfolk to read. On Arbor Day, April 29, 2011, the club will plant two ‘Stellar Pink’ dogwood trees in front of the Town Hall. All are invited to the 1:00 PM ceremony and to then stroll down Washington Street to say hello to our mighty ‘Moon Tree’.