Moon Tree Story



South Fairmount's Moon Tree

in 1992, a second-generation Sycamore moon tree was planted on the grounds of a paper products company in South Fairmount. The owner, an avid local astronomer named Dennis Smith Sr., had picked it up at a trade show, and it was half dead by the time he got back in town. Once planted behind his company, however, the tree thrived.


When the Lick Run Greenway project came along, it was determined the tree would need to be removed to make room for the stream channel. Dennis was determined to save the tree, and a lot of people joined forces to help him. Ultimately, the original tree was cloned, before being cut down, by the Lagergren Nursery in Hamilton, Ohio.


Three of the cloned baby sycamore moon trees were planted at the Lick Run Greenway pond (near the location of the original tree), and one of the trees was planted at Dennis Smith's new company location in Fairfield.



Original sycamore moon tree in South Fairmount off Queen City Avenue
Original second-generation sycamore moon tree in South Fairmount, photo taken in 2014.



Baby moon tree planted on the grounds of Dennis Smith's new company location in Fairfield
Baby sycamore moon tree planted at Dennis Smith's new plant location in Fairfield.



Photo of 3 baby Sycamore moon trees at the pond
Three baby Sycamore moon trees (cloned from a 2nd generation moon tree) on the south side of the pond at the Lick Run Greenway. Watch our babies grow!



Moon Tree Bridge

In December 2021, the Harrison Avenue bridge between Queen City and Westwood avenues in South Fairmount received the honorary secondary name of Moon Tree Bridge. Cincinnati City Council approved the naming ordinance on December 1, 2021.


Photo of 3 baby Sycamore moon trees at the pond
Moon Tree Bridge sign at the intersection of Westwood and Harrison avenues.



What's a Moon Tree?

In 1971, NASA astronaut Stuart Roosa carried about 500 tree seeds into space as part of the Apollo 14 mission to the moon. Once the mission returned, the seeds were germinated by the U.S. Forest Service and planted across the country. Trees grown from these seeds were known as "moon trees." Later, cuttings from many of the original moon trees were planted and distributed as second-generation moon trees. The locations of first and second generation moon trees can be found on NASA's website