In their beautiful new book, , landscape photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel showcase a gorgeous selection of some of the world's oldest and wisest trees. All of these wonderful trees have a remarkable story to tell us and have inspired change in humanity. Diane and Len spent two years travelling the globe to five different continents to photograph the 57 extraordinary trees, all of which have their own historic and cultural significance.
Here are eight of the most incredible trees from by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, introduction by Verlyn Klinkenborg.
Shitala is a very special tree, with this image being chosen as one of the "Best Photos of 2017" by National Geographic. In Hinduism, it is believed that the goddess Shitala is embodied in the neem , which can cure disease. This one can be found in the Nanghan Bir Baba Temple.
The Callery pear tree became the urban tree of choice in New York in the 1950s and one in particular was planted in Liberty Plaza in New York. During the rescue mission after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, this tree was found under the rubble of the Twin Towers. It was reduced to a burnt trunk but survived and nursed back to full health, acting as a wonderful symbol of resilience.
This sacred banyan tree is spectacular. It has a road running straight through its trunk. A hole was carved into the base of the trunk and prayed for the tree's forgiveness. Bunut Bolong is still thriving.
As part of an annual springtime tradition in Japan, people head out to view the beautiful cherry tree blossoms. But none are more beautiful than the 80-year-old higan cherry tree in Maruyama Park in Kyoto, which is lit up all night long.
This coastal redwood became an international symbol of conservation when volunteer Julia Butterfly Hill staged sit-ins along with her fellow environmental activists to save the tree from being cut down. The tree was saved and still thrives to this day.
A rope has been tied around this camphor tree to signify its sacred status. Around 2,000 years old, this ancient tree is a shrine to followers of the Shinto religion.
This sweet shop has a neem tree growing right in the middle of it. It is one of India's most sacred trees, and the sweet shop owners prayed to the tree for good health and prosperity. In return, they built the shop around the tree rather than cut it down.
These awe-inspiring trees achieved global fame when they starred in Angelina Jolie's Lara Croft: Tom Raider film in 2001. But they go much further back than that. For centuries they have wrapped themselves around the Ta Prohm Temple. The tree roots are completely entwined with the structure of the architecture.