OLDEST LIVING TREES
“Island of the Dragon’s Blood” by Beth Moon.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. ― Hermann Hesse
Surreal Black and White Photos Immortalize Oldest Trees on Earth
Few things on Earth are as old as the organisms in the photos of Beth Moon. For her recent book, Portraits of Time, the San Francisco-born photographer traveled around the world for 14 years, capturing the planet’s longest-living trees (some of which also appeared in Susan Sussman’s The Oldest Living Things in the World – see video below) in the hopes of helping humanity better protect and preserve these ancient survivors. “Most of the trees that I have photographed exist only because they are outside the reach of civilization,” Moon writes on her website. “Some species exist, but only in a few of the most isolated places in the world.”
To print Portraits of Time, the negatives underwent a lengthy and intensive in which iron oxide was mixed with ground palladium and platinum and then captured inside the actual printing paper. It’s a photographic process whose results can last for centuries, incorporating Moon’s themes of time and tradition into the final products themselves. It’s all in the hopes that Moon’s photos will contribute to the preservation of these giants of the time, so that our grandchildren can admire them—and not only from a picture.
“Off to Market”
“Bristle Cone Pine Relic”
“The Nantglyn Pulpit Yew”
“The Ifaty Teapot”
“The Bowthorpe Oak”
Susan Sussman’s The Oldest Living Things in the World
In living color..
There are colonies of clonal trees that have lived for tens of thousands of years, but there’s something majestic about a single tree able to stand on its own for millennia. These ancient trees have borne witness to the rise and fall of civilizations, survived changing climates, and even persevered through the fervent development of human industry. Here are some more of the oldest trees in color.