“The photographers sought out ‘inspirational trees—ones that had witnessed history, survived calamities, or were the focus of spiritual veneration’ and found over 60 examples from around the globe.” —Los Angeles Times
Foreword byVerlyn Klinkenborg
Supported by grants from the Expedition Council of the National Geographic Society, Diane Cook and Len Jenshel spent two years traveling to 59 sites across five continents to photograph some of the world’s most historic and inspirational trees. Trees, they tell us, can live without us, but we cannot live without them. Not only do trees provide us with the oxygen we breathe, food gathered from their branches, and wood for both fuel and shelter, but also they have been essential to the spiritual and cultural life of civilizations around the world.
From Luna, the Coastal Redwood in California that became an international symbol when activist Julia Butterfly Hill sat for 738 days on a platform nestled in its branches to save it from logging, to the Bodhi Tree, the sacred fig in India that is a direct descendent of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment, Cook and Jenshel reveal trees that have shaped our lives, our traditions, and our feelings about nature.
There are also survivor trees, including a camphor tree in Nagasaki that endured the atomic bomb, an American elm in Oklahoma City, and the 9/11 Survivor Tree, a Callery pear at the 9/11 Memorial. All of the trees were carefully selected for their role in human dramas. This project both reflects and inspires awareness of the enduring role of trees in nurturing and sheltering humanity.
Photographers, environmentalists, history buffs, and nature-lovers alike will appreciate the extraordinary stories found within the pages of Wise Trees!
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We are partners in business and in life, and founded Hamilton & Adams because we love the thrill of an adventure. Having spent years traveling the world with extensive time in the Hudson Valley living and learning about the region’s rich history, we decided to embark on the ultimate adventure – build a business that shares the best of what the Upstate region has to offer with the world.