In May of 2017, Kathy was invited back to Australia to speak to Arboriculture Australia's 20/30 Anniversary Conference at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. The organizer of the conference, Craig Hallam, arranged for some of the international guests to take a tour of the "backcountry" after the conference. Since Clancy had not been to Australia before, he went along for the ride.
The morning after the conference ended, ten of us loaded into two SUVs and headed off on a 6 day, 3000 km drive. Eight of the ten people on the expedition had either presented at the conference or helped run the conference - the other two had been hanging around the others long enough, so a common topic of discussion in the SUVs was trees. Species of trees, caring for trees, the benefits of trees - anythings about trees was fair game.
Several times in that first day of driving, Tom Ogren commented: "Now that's a great old tree!" It seems that Jeremy Barrell, another member of the expedition, had spoken at the conference about the benefits of letting big old gnarly trees be, and this had caught Tom's attention. (Look for an article on the site soon to explain his points.) Some of us started taking pictures of those "great gnarly trees." Tom suggested we could publish a picture book of these trees and we went down the rabbit hole of what to name such a book, finally settling on the name "Still Standing." Tom even started working on a song with that name.
Photo Collection. If you have a photo of a great tree, send it off and I'll add it to the collection. If you want to retain copyright, please indicate such, and we'll note it in the gallery, otherwise, the images are fair game for others to use. Please be sure to include: Photographer's name, rough date, the location of the tree, and a statement as to why this tree caught your eye.
Tree Portraits. I don't have any of these yet, but I envision a few articles that go into more depth on an individual tree. I envision articles that include one or two overall views of a tree, and many close up photos of nests, bug holes, fungus, lichen and anything else that shows how trees support the environment - even after they stop living as individual organisms. (I've included links to some examples on other sites.)
Articles and Research. Initially, I'm thinking blog style articles that help explain the value of trees. Kathy and I talked about how our culture has little problem distinguishing between Fine Dining and fast food, mass produced art and fine art, suburban homes and houses from high-end architects, yet most folks don't distinguish between trees planted by municipalities along the roadside and old growth trees that have been around for dozens or hundreds of years. This should work up into a fun essay. I also hope to get something from Jeremy explaining his ideas mentioned above. If you have an idea you'd like to write about, let us know or send it in!
| Members of the original trip: