AnCiEnT TrEEs FrOm ArOuNd ThE wOrLd

The Bowthorpe Oak is a massively thick, millennium-old tree in Lincolnshire, England that once was rumored to hold three dozen people in its enormous, hollowed-out trunk. Beth Moon photographed the leafy giant some 15 years ago and was struck by its solemn nobility and overwhelming presence. Thus began a pilgrimage that would take her around the world to document the planet’s most ancient trees.

From Mexico to Madagascar, she came to find that trees so grand often have wonderful stories to tell—the massive trunk of the Major Oak where Robin Hood’s gang allegedly hid out; the gnarled, gothically dense Wittinghame Yew where a Scottish noble’s murder was planned in 1567; South Africa’s Sagole Big Tree where anti-apartheid fighters found shelter in the 1970s. “Everyone has a favorite tree story, and I just love to hear them,” said Moon.

Text and photos source:


The Sentinels of St. Edwards. Stow-on-the-Wold, England, 2005. Planted sometime in the 18th century


Heart of the Dragon. Socotra, Yemen, 2010. Living up to 500 years, these bizarre trees are unique to the island of Socotra.


Rilke’s Bayon. Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2007. Buddhist temples are straddled by the immense trunks of huge ficus trees whose serpentine roots pry apart the ancient stones in a desperate journey to find soil


Avenue of the Baobabs, found only on the island of Madagascar


Kapok Tree. Palm Beach, Florida, 2004


The Great Western Red Cedar of Gelli Aur. Llandeilo, Wales, 2006. This grand multi-trunked Great Western Red Cedar is thought to have been planted in 1863

bristlecone pine 2

The Crowhurst Yew. Crowhurst, England, 2003. Amongst tombstones in a churchyard in Crowhurst, stands a medieval ancient yew, estimated to be over 1,500 years old


The series and corresponding photo book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time is a collection of beautiful, stoic images that feel suspended in time.

BUY HERE: Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time


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