Photos tell Story of Trees and Their Connection to People and Neighborhoods

New York, NY (March 2013) – A new book released this month, “New York City of Trees,” by Benjamin Swett, photographs and describes the role of trees and the shared experiences of the people who live alongside them. The book release coincides with an exhibit of his tree photographs at the Central Park Arsenal gallery.

According to Swett, “It is common to talk about how trees improve living conditions in cities by filtering and cooling the air, absorbing excess rainwater, and making neighborhoods more attractive, but little has been said about the equally important role of trees as storehouses of a city’s past. Just as trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and hold it for many years in their woody tissue, so do they sequester the shared experiences of the people who live alongside them.”

“Trees also store memories through the associations they carry for the people who live alongside them and see them every day,” says Swett. Looking at a group of trees Swett has know over many years in the five boroughs of New York City, he photographs them to illustrate how much of the life of New York is contained in the trees.

The Arsenal Gallery, in partnership with MillionTreesNYC, hosts an exhibit of 28 of Swett’s color portraits of trees. The “New York City of Trees” exhibit runs from March 7 – April 26, 2013. 

Here’s Swett’s tour of trees and his connection to them:

Related Resources
Benjamin Swett Website
Central Park Arsenal
“Tree Person,” The New Yorker