New Mexico Officials Believe They’ve Located a Missing ‘Moon Tree’

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Officials believe they may have found one of the missing trees planted in New Mexico from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission.

Albuquerque TV station KOAT reports former New Mexico first lady Clara Apodaca and a naturalist have identified a tree they believe to be one of those planted in the state four decades ago. Apodaca and the naturalist say a Douglas Fir located in a grassy area north of the state capitol in Santa Fe is a moon tree. Apodaca helped plant it.

The discovery comes after the Albuquerque station reported officials feared they had lost track of the trees.

Moon trees were grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the moon by former U.S. Forest Service smokejumper Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission.

Albuquerque officials said the moon tree planted at the city’s Civic Plaza later died after the plaza was remodeled in 1996.

Other states, like Arkansas, Florida and Georgia, have kept up with moon trees and periodically organize events around them.