/07 Trees

Dave Jordano


A century ago Detroit was known as “The City of Trees”, fashioning itself after the great boulevards of Paris. This golden age of automotive supremacy between 1900 and 1950 made Detroit one of the most affluent, influential, and wealthiest cities in the western world. In the ensuing decades since 1960, the slow but steady decline of the automotive industry, fueled by pressure from foreign imports, coupled with white flight and suburban sprawl, led to the collapse of a once vibrant city. Detroit, now plagued with over forty square miles of abandoned space and a declining population that is half of what it was fifty years ago, is a city perched on the edge of a precipice, trying desperately to redefine and reshape a new future for itself. Like many of the homes, factories, and office buildings that have been left to lay waste in the city, these photographs of abandoned trees, without documenting the obvious, represent the symbolic correlation between the societal forces that led to the hardships that Detroit has had to bare, and the forces of nature that are now tearing it down. Much like the buildings, most of these trees have been stripped bare of their usefulness, forgotten, and left without cause.