Dead Vlei Trees, Nambia

From the article by Ebden Diskin 5/2/21, updated from 10/9/14 from

NO ONE APPRECIATED the beauty of trees, and immortalized them in literature, more than J.R.R. Tolkien. “I am at home among the trees,” said Legolas the elf in The Fellowship of the Ring, but it might as well have been Tolkien himself speaking.

Under a black pine in the Oxford Botanic Gardens, the author sat and penned part of his famous trilogy, inspired by the unique trees and plants surrounding him. Tolkien viewed trees as living, breathing creatures with humanlike characteristics, and it’s easy to see why. From Japan’s bamboo forests to the ponderosa pines of Utah, the world’s trees are as diverse and beautiful as its people.

As we begin to think about travelling once again, here is the next in a series of 20 of the most unique trees and forests around the world that will give you a Tolkien-esque love for trees.

Photo: ArCaLu/Shutterstock

Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert is home to the Dead Vlei trees, which somehow manage to be both dismal and beautiful. The clay landscape was once in the floodplain of the Tsauchab River, but when the climate dried up some 900 years ago, sand dunes got in the way of the river flow and the trees all died. It’s too dry for trees to decompose, so they have been burnt black by the sun, and now form a forest of scorched trees, some over 1,000 years old.

For advice and or a quote for work to your trees, call Andrew on 01256 817369, 07771 883061 or email him at