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Historic Tree Grove 

The Richard T. Bowers Historic Tree Grove @ MOSI

offers a unique timeline of America's history as it was viewed by silent witnesses, trees. The 16 trees in the grove are seedlings of trees that are associated with historically important people or events, while the 17th tree honors Dr. Richard T. Bowers, who helped create the grove. Imagine the sycamore that grew from seeds that went to the moon, a pine that watched a battle of the American Civil War, or the sweet gum that saw the flight of the first airplane. What wonders those trees witnessed and those same trees still live long after the events of history have passed. We can still lay our hands on their bark, sit beneath their boughs and take a few minutes out to learn and converse about great deeds and fantastic people which shaped our world.


1. Ft. Matanzas Red Cedar

2. Clara Barton Red Bud

3. Mount Vernon Holly

4. Andersonville Magnolia

5. Olustee Longleaf Pine

6. Chickasaw Plum

7. Dr John Gorrie Red Cedar

8. George Washington Carver Persimmon

9. Henry Ford Sycamore

10. Juliette Gordon Low Magnolia

11. Wright Brothers Sweet Gum

12. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Live Oak

13. Martin Luther King Jr. Sycamore

14. Moon Sycamore

15. Frank Lloyd Wright Ginko

16. Ray Charles Live Oak

17. Dick Bowers Sand Live Oak


2014 Historic Tree Grove Improvements

Thanks to a Hillsborough County Historic Preservation Challenge Grant, in-kind donations from the community and MOSI staff, we have been able to revitalize the Richard T. Bowers Historic Tree Grove at MOSI to better welcome and appeal to museum guests. Through these generous gifts we have been able to add:

Signs - Informational signs now provide background information about the story of each tree. The beautiful illustrations for these signs were created by Tampa Bay artist, Holly Bird.

BenchesBenches for each tree now provide great places for sitting, chatting and stopping for a peaceful lunch.

MuralsEach bench is decorated with a mural painted by a Florida artist that helps to further interpret the story of each tree. For more information on these murals, check out the individual tree pages.

Wind InstrumentsEach tree has been given a voice through the use of wind instruments and each has a unique sound that helps to reflect the story of the individual trees.

Garden ImprovementsRaised beds, barrel planters, new plantings, garden edging, trellises and more have helped us to re-shape and spruce up the Historic Tree Grove, making it a great place for a class, a stroll or for lunch.

Plant MarkersThroughout the garden, keep an eye out for plant markers that will provide information about the different plantings used throughout the grove.

Ethnobotanical and Themed GardensEach ethnobotanical and themed garden has a sign that tells a little more about the story of the plantings used for each tree.

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