Noble Trees, a coffee table book, is a look at some of the most magnificent trees in the Upstate through photography and verse. Read More
Take one of the Southeastern United States' most beloved and respected horticulturalists. Sprinkle in the poetry of one of the region's finest nature writers. Add heaping amounts of glorious color photography by two extraordinarily talented South Carolina artists. Mix well, and you have this landmark collaborative book, Noble Trees of the South Carolina Upcountry.
Inside these pages, renowned plant professor Michael A. Dirr articulates his Noble Tree vision: preserving the Upcountry's green giants and re-planting the region with "trees for the ages"─those that transcend generations, become fodder for legends and reach out for the heavens. Alongside him, Spartanburg poet John Lane uses forests and yards as his inspiration, turning their tulip poplars, their cottonwoods, even their "Sequoia" redwoods into memorable characters in his verse. Together, Dirr and Lane speak the language of these noble survivors, reminding us they are our neighbors, our kin, and our charge.
But it is the images of these trees themselves that are the soul of this colorful volume: from the stately hemlocks of Chattooga country to the ancient Deodar cedar in downtown Gaffney, from the towering American elm in Enoree to the shade-giving pecans of Hollywild Animal Park, from the record shagbark hickory of Sumter National Forest to the fabulous fall color of Spartanburg's Milliken Arboretum, the photography shows the wide spectrum of the Upcountry's native trees. Mark Olencki of Spartanburg and Mark Dennis of Greenville spent four seasons among them, shooting thousands of images across a nine-county region. Many of these trees were nominated by the people of the Upcountry for their beauty, their historic value, or their endangered status; still others were discovered by Olencki and Dennis as they traveled back roads and hiking trails, always craning their necks to the topmost branches.
The Hub City Writers Project of Spartanburg brings you Noble Trees of the South Carolina Upcountry. We present these words and images to forge a deeper emotional bond between our people and their trees. We offer this book with a dream that, together, we change the landscape of the communities we inhabit, planting Noble Trees to provide shade, improve air quality, and enhance the beauty of our region for generations to come. Noble Trees is primarily funded by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service.