Tree Bones

Tree Bones was born when I realized that I had a surprising number of images of dead trees. The tree remnants, unique in their space, grabbed my attention. They were the skeletal remains of once majestic living trees—Tree Bones. I wondered what drove my interest in this dead wood.

Each one told its own story. There are families of stories, the same kind of story. It may be one of strength and endurance, or a story of violence.

Tree Bones begged to be portrayed in black & white.

Fallen Bones


A tree lying on the ground draws attention. Fallen Bones are most out of character.

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Resting in Spring Grass

Fallen Bones tend to be older, less durable trees. They may be seen separating into constituent parts. The outer layers peel away from the core of the tree.

Fallen Bones lay by themselves, isolated, transported from where they once stood. Their arrangement on the ground suggests a story of their fall.

Standing Bones


Standing Bones endure alone. When found in groves of living trees, they mingle with former peers. The tree bones stand tall, lacking a full complement of limbs.

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Desert Stand 2

The most durable of the Standing Bones are the most durable of the living trees. Some live near timberline, between alpine forests and alpine tundra. Others live in the desert. They abide harsh environments—extreme temperatures, strong winds, little water, and poor soil. They stand apart.

Broken Bones


Trees sometimes suffer foul, violent weather. Violence may be from heavy ice. Wind, tornados, and hurricanes break trees, small and large alike.

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Broken Bones 1

Contemplate the violence the tree suffered. Try to grasp the magnitude of forces breaking the largest trees. Broken bones can be dramatic. Imagine a story of forces Broken Bones tells.

Ancient Bones


Ancient Bones reflect conditions that turn wood into stone, over millions or tens of millions of years. Bones of stone are the most ancient tree bones. ‚Äč

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Ancient Bones 1

Tree Bones Speak


Living and dead trees draw stark contrasts. Their shapes, and the twists in their grain create a unique and attractive sculpture—a dance in the wood.

Tree Bones continues to be an interesting subject. They allude to interesting, even fascinating stories. And those are of our own making; there is little evidence or information available about the Tree Bones’ history.

How do Tree Bones speak to you?



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