10 of the world's most inspiring trees

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From ancient beauties and ghostly boughs to a tree that harbors a secret dancefloor, meet some of the superstars from the new book, "Wise Trees."

There is a new book out by landscape photographers Diana Cook and Len Jenshel, and it is nothing short of magnificent. The duo spent two years traveling to 59 spots across five continents to take portraits of some of the world's most historic and inspiring trees, "ones that had witnessed history, survived calamities, or were the focus of veneration," they write. The fruit of their labor is "Wise Trees" (Abrams, 2017) and within its dreamy pages we are introduced to one inspiring tree after the next.

Trees are at once pedestrian and profound; they surround us and may go unnoticed, but when their stories are told, the extent of their humble majesty is hard to deny. Not to mention how diligently they serve us – trees can live without us, but we cannot live without them. "They are essential to the survival of our species," Cook and Jenshel write, "and have been for millennia."

"It is our hope that by paying tribute to their beauty, significant stories, and all the wisdom they have to impart," they add, "we can appreciate not only their role in our past, but also how crucial they are to our future."

The book features 59 remarkable trees, 10 of which we're sharing here. First up, an amazing Montezuma cypress.

El Arbol del Tule: Oaxaca, Mexico

This jaw-dropping Montezuma cypress, pictured above, can be found in the small Mexican town of Santa Maria del Tule, where it has lived somewhere between 1,200 and 3,000 years. In the indigenous language of the area, Nahuatl, the species is known as "ahuehuete," meaning old man of the water.

El Arbol del Tule is the largest, widest, and oldest Montezuma cypress in the world; her circumference rings in at an astonishing 137.8 feet.

Next: A sacred banyan with a tunnel >>

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