New York City of Trees

Winner of the 2013 New York City Book Award
for Photography

It is common to talk about how trees improve living conditions in cities by filtering and cooling the air, absorbing 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 in their woody tissue, so do they sequester the shared experiences of the people who live alongside them. By looking at a group of trees I have known over many years, scattered around the five boroughs of New York City, I have tried to show how much of the life of New York is contained in its trees. The book was published in 2013 by the Quantuck Lane Press and received support from Furthermore: a project of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. It is designed by Laura Lindgren with a map by Myra Klockenbrink. (In 2017 The Countryman Press reprinted the book under the title Trees of New York City.)

“New York is a city built atop a forest. And in a forest,
every tree has a story. As this wonderfully personal
account of the trees of New York City amply demonstrates,
the trees are still here, idiosyncratic, communicative, full of personality, standing for the ages with a resolute perseverance that does our forest-city proud.”

– Eric Sanderson, Senior Conservation Ecologist
at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and author of
Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City.

New York City of Trees

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