Ancient trees: Avenue of the Baobabs

All photos: Beth Moon

After spending 14 years traveling the world to document the world's oldest trees, photographer Beth Moon created "Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time," the culmination of her hard work.

Moon's captivating black-and-white images feature looming sequoias, bulbous baobabs and gnarly bristlecone pines — all of which are distinguished for either their age, size or historical importance.

In the image above, titled "Avenue of the Baobabs," we glimpse a cluster of 800-year-old baobab trees. These unusual looking trees are divided into nine species — six of which are endemic only to Madagascar. Sadly, as with many plants and wildlife on the island, baobab trees are one of Madagascar's most endangered specimens.

All of Moon's images are processed using a special platinum/palladium method, which ensures that the prints will survive for centuries. Through this long-lasting method, Moon hopes to speak to the concept of survival — "not only of man and nature’s but to photography’s survival as well."

Ancient trees: Rilkes Bayon

The documentation of these aging, threatened specimens (such as "Rilke's Bayon," above), underscores the responsibility that humans must take on to ensure the continued survival of the planet.

World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall echoes this sentiment in her review of Moon's book: "I want my grandchildren — and theirs — to know the wonder of such trees in life and not only from photographs of things long gone. Beth's portraits will surely inspire many to help those working to save these magnificent trees."

Continue below for a small selection of photos from "Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time," or buy the book for yourself!

Ancient trees: Buffles drift baobab

"Buffles drift baobab"


Ancient trees: Sentinels

"Sentinels of St. Edwards"


Ancient trees: Kings Canyon sequoias

King's Canyon sequoias


Ancient trees: Nantglyn Pulpit Yew

"Nantglyn Pulpit Yew"


Ancient trees: Croft Chestnut

"Croft Castle Chestnut"


Ancient trees: Ifaty Teapot

"The Ifaty Teapot"


Ancient trees: General Sherman

"General Sherman"

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.