A new book from photographer Beth Moon showcases trees that are up to 4,800 years old.
The biggest challenge in photographing ancient trees can be finding them. When the California-based photographer Beth Moon set out to capture some of the Earth’s oldest trees, she found herself hiking up steep mountains, scrambling over rocks and walking hours down roads where cars couldn’t go. She showcases her findings from the past 14 years in a new book, “Ancient Trees” (Abbeville Press, $49.95). Selecting her arboreal subjects based on their age, history and size, Ms. Moon traveled through the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa to document towering redwoods, broccoli-shaped baobabs and gnarled trunks growing out of ancient temples. Their inaccessibility helps to explain why many of the trees have survived so long. “You’d think they’d be easy to find because they’re so big,” she says. The oldest tree that she found was some 4,800 years old. “Even if you’re used to the size, it just never prepares you for the next one. Just seeing them in person is a pretty intense experience.”