If you have a photo in need of foliage, fire up Photoshop and generate for a 3D rendered Sakura Cherry Blossom, Redwood, Young Maple, Palm, or nearly three dozen other trees. Just go to Filter Render Tree and let your creativity, er, take root. This curious feature even enables you to tweak the leaf sizes, branch height, and other variables. But what's the story behind this curious feature? From Input:
Read the rest
The trees, it turns out, came in response to architectural artists who wanted to be able to drop trees into their work but struggled to smoothly integrate them into the image. Before the tree filter was introduced in 2014, designers would have to cut out a preexisting image of a tree taken at the right angle and then paste it in.
“We thought it would be convenient if you could generate customizable trees that fit illustrations,” says Daichi Ito, the technical research artist who developed the tree filter for Adobe. “By ‘fit,’ I mean it doesn’t have a strong style; it’s somewhat realistic, but not photorealistic.”
Ito created the project as part of the development of an engine, codenamed Deco, that would help Photoshop create generative patterns. “Daichi came to us and said, ‘I can actually write a bunch of interesting scripts that leverage that Deco engine and allow us to generate all kinds of things,’” recalls Stephen Nielson, director of product management for Photoshop at Adobe. Ito spent a month writing the algorithm that created the generative images. “Generating tree data took me some more time,” he adds.
These are just a small sample of Michael Schlegel's glorious photographs of trees in Fanal, the laurisilva forest of Madeira, Portugal. The otherworldly images reassure me with their quiet calm.
(via Kottke) Read the rest
The tree thought to have inspired Theodor Seuss Geisel's 1971 book The Lorax has fallen down. The Monterey Cypress tree stood for 80 to 100 years at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, California, Geisel's home for almost 50 years. From CNN:
Tim Graham (of the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department) said there is "no definitive cause on why it fell..."
The city plans to salvage the large trunk section in hopes of repurposing it, Graham said.
image: Bryan Fernandez/Flickr (CC)
Read the rest
Scientists have identified what is likely one of the world's tallest trees, a 330.7-foot (100.8 meter) yellow meranti tree in the rainforest on the island of Borneo. They spotted the tree growing in the Malaysian state of Sabah during an aerial laser scan of the forest. The rainforest is protected yet Yellow meranti trees are are highly endangered because they're relentlessly chopped down in other parts of Borneo for construction use. To accurately measure the tree, arborist Unding Jami of the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership climbed it with a tape measure in hand. From National Geographic:
What was it like to climb?
Read the rest
I knew it would feel very exposed [to climb], like you are just hanging in the air. There were really strong winds and a Colugo (flying lemur) nest! It was flying all around as we were trying to shoot the line up into the tree.
It took me 15 attempts to shoot that line 86 meters (282 feet) up to the lowermost branches. Honestly, I almost gave up. We were so lucky to be able to finally shoot the rope over the lower branch.
Once we had the rope up I took nearly an hour to climb up to 86 meters. And then another two hours from there to get to the top to take the final measurement. That last two hours the wind was very strong, and it rained, which slowed me down...
It’s not easy work to do. I climb up slowly, checking the trunk every meter for centipedes, snakes, and things.
The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has been cloning giant redwoods from genetic material still living in their stumps, and planting them around the world.
Today, giant stumps of ancient redwoods dot the landscape from Oregon to northern California, reminders of the old-growth forest that used to stretch across the Pacific Northwest. Many arborists assumed these stumps were dead, but Milarch and his son, Jake, discovered living tissue growing from the trees’ roots, material known as baseless or stump sprouts. The Milarchs collected DNA from stumps of five giant coast redwoods, all larger than the largest tree living today. These included a giant sequoia known as General Sherman with a 25-foot diameter.
They then used this genetic material to grow dozens of saplings, clones of the ancient trees, a process that takes approximately two-and-a-half-years. The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has already planted nearly 100 of these saplings in the Eden Project garden in Cornwall, England, a couple hundred in Oregon, and is organizing further groves of saplings in nine other countries.
“These saplings have extraordinary potential to purify our air, water, and soil for generations to come,” Milarch said. “We hope [the San Francisco] ‘super grove,’ which has the capability to become an eternal forest, is allowed to grow unmolested by manmade or natural disasters and thus propagate forever.”
(Thanks, John Stewart!) Read the rest
Chiako Yamamoto is the first and only female sensei of Japan's revered bonsai masters. She shows trees of various sizes and ages, including those she inherited from relatives generations ago. Read the rest
Trees "talk" to each other in forests. They are part of underground networks based on symbiotic relationships, known as mycorrhiza, with fungi. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, the medium is the mushroom. (National Geographic)
Read the rest
Yan Wang Preston left a medical career because she was drawn to nature photography. Her fascinating shots of old-growth trees replanted in urban areas is both beautiful and depressing. Read the rest
Nine of thirteen "landmark" baobab trees across southern Africa abruptly died in recent years, reports Agence Presse-France. Climate change is blamed.
Read the rest
“It is definitely shocking and dramatic to experience during our lifetime the demise of so many trees with millennial ages,” said the study’s co-author Adrian Patrut of the Babeș-Bolyai University in Romania.
Patrik Svedberg posted a picture of a tree that resembled a frond of broccoli. Then another, and another. That's where it started, says Seth Radley, whose video turns the tree's fame and its fate into a parable of bigger things.
The tree is the protagonist, but rather a passive one, letting the plot unfold around it. Each photo contains a story of its own. It’s all in the details and very often with a humorous twist. Just ”beautiful” would bore me to death.
Most people passing by when I’m shooting don’t have a clue what I’m doing, being all caught up with the beautiful view of the lake. And a beach with trees on it. But this is my way of forcing the beholder to see what I see. It’s all about framing and what randomly takes place when I’m there. Sometimes it’s the most beautiful sky. Sometimes it’s a couple in their nineties taking a walk. Sometimes it’s birds, or stars, or just so so grey and dull. But it’s almost never about the tree itself. And I can’t do magic – I‘ve had aurora borealis (or the northern lights), but some things just can’t be. For example, the tree and the lake are positioned straight to the North, so you will never see a sunset behind the tree in @thebroccolitree timeline. No matter what.
PREVIOUSLY IN BROCCOLI:
• Broccoli treehouse
They don't make disturbing broccoli ads the way they used to
Read the rest
Fejetlenfej posted a set of maps of european forest cover to imgur, with posters available on Etsy. Though cover is distressingly spase in places such as Denmark and England, check out the places that seem picked clean, as if trees were a menace to be exterminated without remorse. Is there so much as a shrub in Italy's Po Valley?
Read the rest
Data: Global Tree Canopy Cover, 2010, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
High resolution map of all the forests of Europe. Color scheme goes from black as 0% forest to bright green as close to 100%, dense forest.
After finally forcing myself to focus more on creating new things, this is my first new design in almost a year. I'm quite excited to show it to you guys, so please, any feedback welcome.
Map made mostly with the open-source QGIS software.
Looking for a monumental tree for a photo or just to enjoy in person? Check out Monumental Trees, a compendium of over 31,000 impressive trees, like this live oak in Virginia. Read the rest
Over at The Last Word on Nothing, esteemed science writer Rebecca Boyle wrote a lovely appreciation of trees. "Apart from humans, maybe, trees are the best form of life on this planet," she writes. From Boyle's essay, titled "Make Like A Tree and Get Outta Here":
Read the rest
Trees remain in one place, but reach elsewhere always. They stretch down into the ground, and they constantly strain toward the sun. They are the embodiment of our shared presence on a rocky planet that orbits a star. Hedgehogs and helminths may be interesting, but they don’t constantly remind us, simply by existing, that we are in a solar system.
Trees are also hosts for every other form of life. Their roots chew up the very crust, a process aided by microbes, and in doing so, trees remake continents. Their bark harbors fungus and lichen. Their branches and leaves shelter and feed insects, birds and mammals. Even now, when humans are capable of building machines that fly to Mars, we still use trees for shelter. We also cut them down and burn them for warmth. Some of us cut them down and bring them inside and festoon them, for a form of psychic warmth that lasts a few weeks and is the only reason I can tolerate December.
Trees are strivers. My pin oak is one of the fastest-growing species of hardwood trees, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. It can grow two feet per year. Trees also bide their time. The oldest living thing on Earth is a tree in Arizona, a bristlecone pine that sprouted from a seed a few years before the invention of writing, in 3200 BCE.
Trees Sucking on Things is my new favorite subreddit. It's dedicated to trees that have grown around unusual objects, thereby giving the impression of "sucking" on them. Pictured here is an example from getyerhandoffit. Read the rest
Ever wonder how they tie up enormous trees for transport? One option is this three-armed model, though you might be distracted by the guy not wearing a hardhat as a giant metal arm spins near his head. Read the rest