Trees in the big city

Beth Moon’s nocturnal images of forests across the globe


For her book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, American photographer Beth Moon captures noctural images of some of the world’s oldest trees. In Quiver Trees (1), she showcased Namibia’s spectacular collection of succulent aloe plants, which can grow to tree-like proportions in the African country’s Quiver Tree Forest. The Bushmen and Hottentot tribes use its tough pliable bark and branches to fashion arrows. Avenue of the Baobabs (2) features trees unique to the island of Madagascar. Approximately 800 years old, the baobabs reach heights of 98 feet and are locally known as renala — Malagasy for ‘Mother of the Forest’. In Diksom Forest (3), Moon captures the mythical dragon blood trees, native to the Socotra archipelago in Yemen, which live up to 500 years. With an arching canopy, the endangered species look like umbrellas blown inside out.

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