The 20 Tree Photography Shots That Should Be In Your Nature Portfolio
While some of us urban dwellers need to head a distance to experience a forest full of trees. Others are lucky enough to have beautiful branches in the countryside outside our windows. We all marvel at the woods that not only keep us alive but fill our vision with eye candy all four seasons of the year. Not only do trees keep our oxygen flowing, but they come in over a thousand different species. Some are so majestic that many journey all over the world to see (and capture on camera).
For those who are interested in nature photography, there are many recommended tree photography portfolio pieces to add to your bucket list. Below we review twenty of our favorite and must-see tree wonders of the world. Some residing in continents all over like Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America. Read on to see which of these tree photography locations you’ve seen, and which to add to your travel musts.
For those who love to capture vibrant and bright colors in nature, it comes as no surprise that wisteria trees would be at the top of our list. The colors of the branches can range from lavender purple to a bold cobalt blue. These trees are native to the countries of China, Korea, and Japan. Some are along the east coast of the United States and they’re not native to the region.
For an incredible tree photography spot to capture the wisteria tree, there is a park called the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan. The wisteria tree here is 145 years old and dates back to the late 1800’s. The tree takes up an entire plot of land and visitors from all over the world come to see it. For the best shot, visit Ashikaga Flower Park during the blooming months of mid-April to mid-May.
Most commonly known as the Sequoioideae Tree (as it’s a part of the Redwood and Cupressaceae family). These tall giants (as they can grow up to 360 feet) are along the west coast of the United States throughout various parts of California. Many travel to the Redwood National Park to catch an image of a redwood.
For a unique tree photography shot, visitors can drive through three different redwood trees when heading sixty minutes north of Eureka in Myers Flat, California. These trees have been noted to be over five thousand years old and make for a picture-perfect image to add to your portfolio and travel bucket list.
Who doesn’t love a tall, full, and beautiful Christmas tree? The official name of everyone’s favorite ornament hanging tree is the Evergreen, and it certainly deserves a spot on our list. There are a wide variety of tree photography options when it comes to capturing an image of an evergreen.
They make up a wide range of trees including conifers like pine, hemlock, blue spruce, red cedar and various types of pine. An example of a photo perfect and iconic evergreen is the annual trees commissioned by cities and states for the holidays- such as Rockefeller Tree on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Antarctic Beech Tree
The official name of the Antarctic beech tree is named Nothofagus moorei. Although the tree has Antarctic in the title, it couldn’t be located further in its origins of the name. Well maybe not extremely far, as the tree is still located in the southern hemisphere and native to countries like Chile and Argentina and made its way to many other regions of the world – including Australia.
The Antarctic Beech Tree grows in wet climates that are fire-free areas. If you are looking to capture antarctic beech tree, there’s said to be a location in Queensland, Australia where 12,000-year-old Antarctic beeches’ are still standing today. The growing trees form a ring formation and make for an incredibly dynamic photograph.
Cherry Blossom Tree
The cherry blossom is a popular tree that is not only in the horticulture world but beauty products as well. The cherry blossom has made its way into many scents on our vanity as the smell is uniquely floral and not overpowering. A must for those adding tree photography into their portfolio, the cherry blossom blooms in the spring months and buds white or light pink petals from the branches.
The most iconic cherry blossoms are those in Japan, and there’s often a festival in Tokyo celebrating the annual bloom – known as the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. For those who can’t make their way over to Japan, some of the most beautiful cherry blossoms can be found in Washington DC around the national mall at springtime.
Angel Oak Tree
If you’re ever visiting the south or the Charleston area, you’ll be surrounded by wall art and postcards reflecting the beautiful angel oak trees. Just like the people love capturing angel oak tree photography for their memorabilia, photographers visiting should head out to John’s Island in Charleston and capture their own imagery of the iconic angel oak. While the angel oaks are scattered throughout the south and Carolinas, the most recognizable tree that’s featured all over social media is the five-hundred-year-old oak on Johns Island.
Capture the light making its way through the large reaching branches that measure twenty-eight feet in circumference and over sixty-six feet tall (talk about using a wide angle). Additionally, while in the area make sure to check out the Avenue of Oaks at Boone Hall Plantation. This scenery makes for a lovely landscape, or lifestyle shot as the overgrown trees arch over the plantations driveway.
Dragon Blood Tree
The dragon blood tree has several different names such as the dracaena cinnabari or the Socotra dragon tree. Photographers love this particular tree for the exposed branches underneath the treetops. The dragon tree is native to Yemen, in particular, the Socotra archipelago by the Arabian Sea. What gives this particular tree a name like blood, is because of the red sap produced within the tree bark.
Labeled by some as one of the most beautiful and unique trees on Earth, it’s said that we may not have the Dragon Blood tree forever as the species is drying out – so capture your tree photography now. By 2080 it’s estimated the forty-five percent of the habitat will be diminished.
Live out your inner Game of Thrones persona by capturing the ominous view of the dark hedges. While technically the dark hedges are just a row of beech trees in Northern Ireland (along Bregagh Road – between Armoy and Stranocum), this particular assortment of trees has earned themselves their characterization.
Famous, and well known as the set of many television and movie sets (like Game of Thrones and one of the Transformers’ films). The dark hedges has earned itself a reputation amongst photographers and creative directors around the world. Especially during full bloom as they line the road with overhanging branches.
Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree
Many believe that the rainbow eucalyptus tree is fictitious, that the tree is for children’s stories. But, believe it or not, the tree is authentic and continues to amaze those who visit them. Often referred to as the Mindanao gum, Eucalyptus deglupta, or rainbow gun, this tree is native to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. So many have to travel quite a ways to witness these magnificent trees.
The science behind the color of the tree has to do with the bark and its annual shedding. As different parts of the tree’s bark are shed at different times, the inner bright green bark is visible. Over time the bright green will turn to blue, purple, orange, and maroon as the tree matures. As the process is occurring, someone may see up to six bright colors presented on the trunk of the tree – making it the ultimate portfolio piece for nature and tree photography.
Japanese Maple Tree
From our list, it appears that Japan is home to many of the world most beautiful and photo-worthy tree photography locations. Next on our list, is the Japanese maple. Native throughout Japan, Korea, this particular tree is in many other locations.
The reason behind this tree’s rise in popularity is due to the leaves vibrant, bold, and unique colors. Some of the popular cultivars include the Crimson Queen, Tamukeyama, the coral bark maple, the Red Dragon, and the most common Japanese Maple the ‘Butterfly.’
A tree well known for its bluish and indigo tints during spring. The Jacarandas or the Blue Jacarandas is a sub-tropical tree that is native to the southern region of Central America and Brazil. It has made its way to parts Australia, South Africa, and many other parts of the world.
Given that it’s quite far from the tree’s native region, one of the best places to take Jacarandas tree photography is in New South Wales Australia at the Grafton Jacaranda Festival which celebrates the blooms of hundreds of gorgeous jacaranda trees around Turf Street. The festival occurs every year for nine days, the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November.
Also known as the Adansonia tree, these sturdy and tall trees are native to the arid regions of Madagascar. As well as scattered throughout the mainland of Africa, Arabia, and Australia. Given the tree’s characteristics to store water within its trunk, it has earned the nickname bottle tree. Other nicknames given to the baobab tree include the upside-down tree because the branches replicate roots.
These large masses of lumber can reach almost one hundred feet high and over thirty feet wide in the trunk’s diameter. One of the best locations to get baobab tree photography, is in the ‘Avenue of the Baobabs’ located in Menable, Madagascar (notably known to be the largest groves of existing baobab trees).
While technically part of the grass family known as Poaceae, the bamboo tree is an iconic long and skinny fauna. The ringlet marks moving up the length of the bamboo are the iconic symbol for these trees. More than being a treat aesthetically, bamboos are essential for both cultural and economic purposes in the countries of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.
You can use the trees as a building material as well as food. For incredible bamboo tree photography content, head to Kyoto’s Sagano Bamboo Forest in Japan. Noted by CNN as one of the most “enchanting groves”, the Sagano Forest is thriving with hundreds of trees. Bonus! The forest is full of Japanese macaques monkeys, an ideal way to get both nature and wildlife photography.
Dead Vlei Tree
Poetically noted as a ‘forest frozen in time’, the Deal Vlei trees occupy a deserted land in the heart of Namibia in Africa. These trees, appearing as though they are twig-like branches, are emerging out of some of the largest sand dunes in the world. One of the most breathtaking images is the contrast of the Deal Vlei against the red sand dunes rolling amongst the Dead Vleis.
To give a creative insight into how the view of the red desert looks against the fauna, the Dead Vleis are in many movie sets including Mad Max Fury Road, The Mummy, and 10,000 BC. For the very best images involving Dead Vlei tree photography, make sure you take a pre-mapped route as well as a guide – the roads can be quite mountainous and tricky. Best rest assured as the drive is worth it, given that you’ll capture and witness sand dunes as tall as the empire state building. Additionally, you will be scattered with black branches of Dead Vlei trees.
The Methuselah tree is none other than a 4,849-year-old Great Basin bristlecone tree, a pine tree! Located in the high altitudes of the White Mountains in Inyo County, California, the Methuselah tree is the oldest organisms still alive on earth. Coming in second after a neighboring bristlecone pine was discovered in 2012 – a 5,068-year-old tree.
Initially thinking, why isn’t the oldest living organism on a list, instead of the Methuselah tree. Reason being, photographers who can capture an image of this tree, is the true adventurers after their creative art. The location of the tree is unknown to the public. However, the park officials do hint to the Methuselah tree being on the four and a half park hiking loop.
Strong and powerful enough to make lumber for boats, the kauri tree has quite a history. Unfortunately, the tree might not have a promising future. Given the deforestation that happens with the kauri tree, the number of remaining ones are low. Residing in the country of New Zealand, these trees were once used by the British Royal Navy to send out the ships: HMS Coromandel, HMS Dromedary, HMS Buffalo, and the HMS Tortoise back in the early 1800’s.
The sheer size of these trees was what craftsman love the most, as they could simply create ships for the British and local tribes. The largest remaining kauri trees are approximately two thousand years old and over one hundred and sixty feet tall. While two thousand years doesn’t take us back to the years of the dinosaurs, it is believed that these trees were once thriving in the forest. However, that was one hundred and fifty million years ago during the Jurassic Period. For those looking to capture the kauri and add a stunning piece of tree photography content into your works, head over to the land of the Kiwis and visit Coromandel Forest Park.
Coconut Palm Tree
Signaling a tropical paradise, these trees do more than spark relaxed vibes and give us the flavor of our most loved pina colada’s. These trees line are some of the most beautiful regions in the world and can grow at exponential heights. It is a common myth that all palm trees can produce coconuts. There is only one version of the palm capable of growing the fruit – the Cocos nucifera (fancy name for the coconut palm).
Other than the obvious coconut bulbs under the branches of the palm, another way to tell if a palm is a coconut palm, their slender, leaning, and ringed trunk are a few characteristics that would give the tree away. Another element to signify a coconut palm is the height of the tree. These trees can grow up to eighty feet tall. The best place to catch these trees on camera is to head to regions in the tropics. This could be: areas around the Caribbean sea, South Florida, and California (amongst others).
The source of our fancy martinis and favorite cooking oil, the olive tree sure has quite the reputation of class. In fact, in Greek mythology, it’s said that the gods’ creation of the olive tree (given between Athena and Poseidon) was the greatest gift ever to be given to mankind. Now, that might be taking the offer a little far – but we’re not complaining. Along with providing a yummy necessity in our kitchen, the olive tree has provided economic source growth for many countries. Beyond its fiscal draw, a photographer would marvel at the beauty presented in the modern-day olive tree.
Their thin bristles, sturdy trunks, and height (averaging at about twenty feed) make these trees one for a picture-perfect image. Speaking of perfect, while the tree itself is lense worthy the backdrops are also quite incredible. Growing around regions of the Mediterranean, the trees are in the countries of Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel, Montenegro, and Croatia. We recommend traveling to the island of Brac, Croatia as the views against the sunset will be jaw-dropping.
If adding tree photography into your nature portfolio, it would be wise to include the junipers as they’re known to be the ‘curliest trees on earth’, and how can one compete with that? As a part of the cypress family, these trees have branches and leaves that can resemble those of needles. However, that often changes as the tree starts to age and mature. Known as a sturdy species, the juniper tree is long-lasting and can handle itself against droughts.
There are sixty-seven species of juniper located throughout the world. The locations are in Pakistan, southern regions of Africa, Tibet, and even the Arctic. The highest juniper tree is located in the Himalayan mountains and has an altitude of 16,000 feet. There’s also a 3,000-year-old juniper that guest can visit in the Stanislaus National Forest.
Considered one of the most beautiful trees on our list, it’s only fitting that we saved it for last. The rhododendron tree, while sounding like it belongs on one of the Star Wars movies. The tree is actually a species of woody plants natively in Asia. The bright colors that bloom in the spring can give off a range of hues like: red, pink, and purple.
To visit one of the most impressive rhododendrons in the world, you may have to venture to someone’s backyard. A Reddit post went viral after discovering a one hundred and twenty-five-year-old rhododendron tree. The tree was blooming in front of a home in Ladysmith, British Columbia, Canada. While we can try and stalk google maps – it’s no use as they captured the imagery during the wrong season.