Best Tree (2008)

Camperdown Elm Tree

Located just southeast of the Victorian Boat House in Prospect Park, the CAMPERDOWN ELM TREE, with its seemingly supine limbs and its cascading leaves, has served as a source of inspiration for some of New York City's most celebrated artists, poets, and writers. Presented as a gift to the park on National Arbor Day, 1872, it's still listed as the city's rarest of biological specimen trees—the product of an experimental graft of an American Elm Tree to a Scottish Elm Tree. Consequently, it has a short, broad base out of which reach expansive limbs. From a distance, the tree looks like a giant fountain of foliage supported by a barely visible trunk. To sit at its base is to be engulfed in a jade sky, to be a catcher of kaleidoscopic shadows, to be in simple, serene solace.


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