Q: How did you decide which ones to use? What message were you trying to convey to the reader?
A: The decision process for the book is a little different from the shows. The book is committed to show the beauty of the trees, but also their diversity. The shows capture elegance and beauty and originality, images that no one has ever seen before, which will spark interest in the photography and in the trees and in the Botanical Garden. The photographs are for sale at the show and all the proceeds go to the Garden.
Two of Larry Lederman's photographs from "Magnificent Trees of the New York Botanical Garden"
Courtesy of Larry Lederman
Q: What makes the trees in the Garden distinctive?
A: The Garden has about six separate gardens with many groves of different kinds of trees. For example, there is a large grove of magnolias, which are very beautiful in the spring because of their abundance of flowers and in the winter because of their finely wrought shapes.
There is a large grove of maples that are very beautiful in the spring when they first leaf and in the fall when they are ripe with the color of their changing leaves.
There is an allée of tulip trees about 100 years old, and they are beautiful all year because they are majestic. In the spring, they show yellow and orange and green flowers. In the summer, they cast a wonderful shade that eases the glare of the sun. In the winter they are elegant.
There is always activity. Knowing where to go on any day depends on experience, from following interesting trees that attract attention. These trees have neighbors that they share the light with and depend upon in windy and stormy weather. You get to know them and their companions. At the right time they dress up for you and show themselves in startling ways. When they attract my attention, I photograph them and show their relation with the trees around them.
Q: Do you have particular favorites, trees you return to again and again?