Urban Forest: Photography by Colleen Mullins

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After Katrina, 70% of trees in New Orleans lay decimated. But it is not that damage on which the photographs of Colleen Mullins gaze, but on the damage at the hands of man, that has followed. This particular canopy degradation is setting the stage for an already palpable loss that even with massive replanting efforts, is leaving a scar on the area that will not heal for generations.

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We have a strange relationship with nature as urban dwellers. And we seemingly hold a cultural belief that if it is an Eden we planted, we have eminent domain over the territory it occupies. While sometimes their deformities can be perceived as comical, the impact of this loss will be faced by New Orleans residents returning home for years to come. Absent street signs, and often the houses themselves, these trees are frequently the only signifiers to tell me that I’ve returned to a site to photograph. Imagine if the tree was not a marker for a photograph, but a marker for your home.

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[via PDN Photo of the Day]

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