These fantastic captures are those of San Francisco-based photographer Beth Moon. For 14 years, Moon has done research to locate the world's oldest trees and traveled to photograph them. Some specimens are more than 1,000 years old. Moon said of the project,
"Many of the trees I have photographed have survived because they are out of reach of civilization; on mountainsides, private estates, or on protected land. Certain species exist only in a few isolated areas of the world. For example; there are 6 species of spectacular baobabs, found only on the island of Madagascar. Sadly, the baobab is now one of the three most endangered species on the island.
The criteria I use for choosing particular trees are basically three: age, immense size or notable history. I research the locations by a number of methods; history books, botanical books, tree registers, newspaper articles and information from friends and travelers.
Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment, celebrating the wonders of nature that have survived throughout the centuries. By feeling a larger sense of time, developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are. I cannot imagine a better way to commemorate the lives of the world’s most dramatic trees, many which are in danger of destruction, than by exhibiting their portraits."