In Champion Trees of Arkansas, Linda Williams Palmer explores the state’s largest trees of their species, registered with the Arkansas Forestry Commission as “champions.” Through her beautiful colored-pencil drawings, each magnificent tree is interpreted through the lens of season, location, history, and human connection.
Readers will get to know the cherrybark oak, rendered in fall colors, an avatar for the passing of seasons. The sugar maple, with its bare limbs and weather-beaten trunk, stands sentry over the headstones in a confederate cemetery. The 350-year-old white oak was once dubbed the Council Oak by Native Americans, and the post oak, cared for by generations of the same family, has its own story to tell.
Palmer traveled from Delta swamps to Ozark and Ouachita mountain ridges over a seven-year period to see and document the champions and to talk with property owners and others willing to share the stories of how these trees are beloved and protected by the community, and often entwined with its history. Champion Trees of Arkansas is sure to inspire art and nature lovers everywhere.