“In the steps of Thomas Pakenham, TreeGirl has produced a unique work that combines a personal (physical & spiritual) ecopsychological connection with a historical and naturalist’s understanding of trees. TreeGirl’s iconic book is an artful mix of the female and arboreal form.”
—Dr. Joe Hinds, Psychologist & Psychotherapist, co-author of Ecotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Affinity for trees is embedded in the human psyche. For Julianne Skai Arbor – photographer, certified arborist, conservation educator, and forest ecotherapist – trees are her secret love. In her spectacular new book, TreeGirl: Intimate Encounters with Wild Nature, Arbor, a.k.a. TreeGirl, invites readers to share her love of the wildness and grandeur of Nature through more than 150 stunning photographs of herself and other women gracefully intertwined nude with fifty species of trees in thirteen countries. The captioned images are complemented with each species natural history and ethnobotany, and by five essays on the ecopsychology, science and spirituality of the human-tree relationship.
There is no other book quite like TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature. Not just a nature photography book, this work is truly interdisciplinary weaving evocative images, essays, and personal stories to remind us that amidst the craziness of our modern technological culture and unprecedented climate crisis, we humans are Nature and connecting deeply with Nature is truly healing.
As Arbor explains, “Imagine if we completely open our hearts to Nature and fall in love over and over again with the sacredness of this life force . . . I invite us modern humans to become re-enchanted with Nature, to experience intimacy and soulful engagement with trees and our more-than-human companions on this Earth . . . I have found my secret love in the plant kin-dom of trees. I encourage you to find your secret love in Nature as well – to find your wild within.”
Since 1995, the author has traveled the world from Northern California, to Australia and Oceana, to Europe, to the plains of Africa in search of breathtaking trees. Once she finds one that she connects with, she sheds her clothes, scales the trunk and limbs, and photographs herself in authentic connection with the tree. The resulting photographs are gorgeous and awe-inspiring, inspiring the reader to find their own sensorial connection with nature.
Arbor’s well-researched essays holistically address not only her unique life experiences with trees, but the human-tree relationship as well. In Lovers, the author presents a dreamy tale of her sensual, transmutational encounter with a tree. In Tree Affinity, she discusses the biology and psychology of why people are attracted to trees. Her essay Touch Trees presents a holistic view of arboriculture – the science of taking care of trees, while The Goddess and the Green Man is the story of Arbor’s spiritual experiences with trees as female and male Nature archetypes. The last chapter Rewilding offers seven accessible ways for people to connect with Nature to “rewild” themselves – from taking forest bathing walks, making physical contact with the earth, to listening to the more-than-human world.
Beautifully designed and printed, TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature serves as both a personal photographic record of Julianne Skai Arbor’s intimate experiences as well as a scientifically grounded look at the importance of trees and the threats that many species now face. This unique book will awaken the readers’ own inner yearnings to find connection and companionship within Nature. As photographer Erica Mueller, founder of the Embody Project says, “TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature is the perfect marriage: gorgeous nude fine-art photography book meets arboriculturist’s master class. TreeGirl has set a new precedent for us all to see ? and know ? ourselves as one with wild Nature.”
About the author:
Julianne Skai Arbor a.k.a TreeGirl is the author of TREEGIRL: Intimate Encounters With Wild Nature. She has been on the forefront of the fields of ecotherapy and nature connection since she began creating self-portraits with trees in 1995. Certified as an arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture and as a California naturalist through the University of California, Arbor has taught interdisciplinary college-level conservation education for over ten years, including pioneering the first program in environmental arts.
Julianne Skai Arbor holds graduate degrees in environmental Education and Arts and Consciousness Studies, and is continuing her studies in Forestry and Climate Change. With her passion for trees she creates an experiential bridge to connect people with nature through forest ecotherapy, portrait sessions, and immersive nature retreats with trees around the world. She lives in Sonoma County, California amidst the native oak and coast redwood trees. Her gallery of images can be found at www.TreeGirl.org.