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Tree Keepers

with photographers Pam Taylor & Susie Lang & performance artist Juanita Bosman

Late last summer, I was honored to co-create with some beloved collaborators during a photo shoot that took place on and around a particular sycamore tree, which I’ve had my eye on for several years. Early one morning, performance artist Juanita Bosman and I trekeed into the bush with photographers Susie Lang and Pamela Taylor to embody and bring to life the Tree Keepers.

Tree Keepers are spirits that protect trees. They love everything about trees including the way trees smell, taste, feel and touch back when you lean against and hug them.

We need trees. Trees combat climate change by absorbing the CO2 that humans create. Trees provide oxygen which humans need to breath. Trees clean air by absorbing pollutant gases and filtering out particulates. Trees cool human’s streets and cities. Shade from trees slows water evaporation and increases air moisture.

Trees replenish groundwater and rivers and prevent soil erosion. Trees protect biodiversity and provide food and wood. Trees create canopies and living places for wildlife like birds, bees, squirrels, possums, koala bears and . . . . Tree Keepers.

Unfortunately, humans are annihilating the world’s trees. Trees are systematically cut down for daily items that humans use such as books, furniture, housing, printed bills and receipts. They’re also used for disposable stuff like wood spoons, plates and utensils, and single-use items like toilet paper, paper towels, napkins printer paper, packaging, magazines, brochures, notecards and stationary.

Trees in old growth forests are being deforested at  alarming rates for environmentally destructive development and industrialization. Trees are also on the chopping block for clear cutting to grow feed for cows, which we use for meat and dairy, as well as for things like palm oil, which is used in more daily human items like hand lotion, shampoo, detergent, soap, biodiesel, lipstick, ice cream, bread, margarine, and chocolate.

80% of our primary global forests are gone. Please help the Tree Keepers preserve our trees by using less paper products, borrowing, sharing and donating books, eating less meat and dairy, using palm oil containing products that are Green Palm RSPO certified, and of course, loving, hugging, hanging out with, and planting trees.

Read more about trees and their benefits and what you can do to help them at The Arbor Day Foundation, National Forests, & Eden Reforestation Project.

Photos by Susie Lang

Photos by Pam Taylor