NATURE TOUR: Love Them More – “Portraits of American Trees”



“Coast Oak”, 1991, California. Photograph by Tom Zetterstrom, taken from “Portraits of trees”. Courtesy of the artist. All rights reserved.

October 18 to October 31, 2021

MOUNT WASHINGTON – “As a photographer of trees and an activist for their protection, Tom Zetterstrom has probably done more to promote their beauty and their worth than Joyce Kilmer.” –Eleanor Charles, The New York Times, November 12, 2000

During the leaf-turning wonder, trees are the center of the world for Berkshire residents and visitors. Green gives way to brilliant shades of red, vermilion, orange and gold. Then, like a fire extinguished by rain, the flames flicker and go out. Each tree’s sturdy trunk, twigs, branches and the unique structure of twigs are revealed. The winter identity of the forest sweeps across the hills. Our pleasure with trees throughout the season pushes us to strengthen our bond and our concern for them throughout the year: to love them more. Maples, ash, beech, hemlock, birch, American elm, dogwood – to name only the familiar natives – all need our help to survive climatic disturbances, exotic pests and pests. invasive species that kill them.

For inspiration, meet nationally renowned fine art photographer Tom Zetterstrom, who combines his creative genius with hands-on regional environmental stewardship. Zetterstrom has photographed trees throughout the North East and coast to coast since the 1970s. A magnificent collection of his “Portraits of American Trees” is on display in the Leonhardt Galleries of the Berkshire Botanical Garden through October 31. The garden is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm; the galleries from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As a gift to the community, BBG is offering free admission until the end of the month.

Zetterstrom’s photographs are featured in the collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Library of Congress.

The public is invited to a conference with the artist this Sunday, October 24 from 11 a.m. to noon, and Tom will also be available in the gallery on Saturday, October 30 from noon to 1 p.m. He presents his last environmental workshop in connection with the exhibition on the 30th from 10h to 12h; registration is compulsory. “Pruning young elms: training on the structure of the crown to promote longevity” is described with an introduction to “Portraits of trees” by clicking HERE.

The success of Tom Zetterstrom’s initiatives in response to the devastating elm disease has been recognized nationally. By presenting him with its 2011 Public Awareness of Trees award, the Arbor Day Foundation underlined his “… drawing attention to the importance of planting and preserving trees. As the founding director of Elm Watch, Zetterstrom… worked to protect and plant hundreds of American elms… EW enabled scientists and elm activists to share ongoing research on the next generation of American elm cultivars. ‘disease resistant elm …’

The work continues. The Massachusetts section of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is looking for volunteers to monitor disease-resistant young American elms in the beautiful landscape of Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield. For more information, email Rene Wendell, TNC Land Steward at [email protected]

A jaunt to the Berkshire Botanical Garden and Tom Zetterstrom’s Portraits of Trees promises to awaken a deeper appreciation for trees and everyone’s role in preserving the natural world.



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