The tree was named by a group of Earth First!ers who, by the light of the full moon, built a small platform out of salvaged wood to serve as a tree sit platform. They chose the Latin word for "moon" to commemorate the event. Although many refer to the tree as "she," giant redwoods produce both male and female cones. The sex of giant redwoods such as Luna is technically neither male nor female, but monoecious.
The tree was the home of tree sitter Julia Butterfly Hill who lived in the tree for 738 days. Hill lived in the tree on a platform 180 feet above the forest floor (approximately equivalent to a building 18 stories high). She descended the tree on December 10, 1999.
An unknown vandal used a chainsaw to cut halfway through the tree in 2001. Civil engineer, Steve Salzman, designed a system to help the tree withstand the extreme windstorms, that can peak between 60 and 100 miles per hour, that frequent the Northern California hillside the tree lives on.
"Tree climbers (led by redwood canopy biologist Dr. Stephen C. Sillett and South American canopy expert Paul Donahue) installed a steel cable "collar" around Luna's main trunk 100 feet above the ground. Four cables radiate from this collar and are attached with turnbuckles to four remote anchor points 100-150 feet away. With this cable assembly in place, Luna should be able to withstand the fiercest of storms."
Julia Butterfly Hill wrote a book The Legacy of Luna: the story of a tree, a woman and the struggle to save the redwoods. about her experiences in the giant redwood.
Luna is under the stewardship of Sanctuary Forest, a nonprofit group.