Trinity University Press

The Power of Trees

Gretchen C. Daily (author), Charles J. Katz Jr. (photographs)

A stroll through the forest with stunning photographs and a moving meditation on the secret life of trees 

Intimate in size yet quietly breathtaking in scope, this graceful gift book will forever change how you think, and how you feel, about trees. In poetically charged scientific observations, renowned conservation biologist Gretchen Daily narrates the evolution, impact, and natural wonder of trees.

Charles Katz’s twenty-six duotone black and white photographs illustrate the development of trees: how trunks were formed, what tree rings tell us about human societies, and how trees define the future of humanity. Pictures of trees threading through the landscape—dotting mountainsides, braiding along the sides of glassine rivers—bear witness to the lyrical force and clarity of Daily’s observations. 

Recreating the authors’ hike together through the landscape of the Skagit River in Washington, the balletic movement between Daily’s commentary and Katz’s vision invites readers to enjoy the landscape through a scientific understanding of trees. At once emotional and intellectual, The Power of Trees is the first collection of nature photographs that delights in not only the gorgeous play between light and shadow, but also the fascinating natural mechanisms that create such striking beauty. 


  • Finalist in Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards - Nature


“As Daily points out, trees come in at least 60,000 varieties. Over their some 400 million year history, they have staked their claim in nearly every terrestrial environment and have enriched humankind in ways that simply can’t be calculated.”


“Daily, a conservation biologist, and her friend Katz visited the Skagit River region in Washington State, where Daily found consolation during the slow death of her father. The lyrical little book she has written in the aftermath is a window into the world of “the longest-lived organisms on Earth,” a way of transcending pain through an appreciation of what’s right in front of you. We can, she reminds us, read the past in a tree’s rings, as we would read the pages of a book.”

New York Times Book Review

More reviews »
The Power of Trees cover
  • Price: $12.95 buy »
  • Pages: 64
  • Size: 7 x 7.75
  • Published: Sep 2012
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595341327
  • B&W photos: 26
  • Price: $12.95
  • Published: Dec 2012
  • Status: Available
  • ISBN: 9781595341723
  • B&W photos: 26


Photography, Environment, Nature