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RETURN TO HEARTWOOD

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In Return to Heartwood – A Search for the Heart of Live Oak Country, author and photographer William Guion takes up camera and pen to document the stories and portraits of Louisiana’s oldest live oak trees before they are lost and forgotten. 

Over four decades, he came to know the old oaks as sentient beings who are an essential part of the history, culture, and ecology of the Southern landscape. They are vital to what makes the South visually distinct and culturally rich. But he found the old oaks are disappearing faster than anyone realizes, from climate change, more powerful storms, depleted soil, and unchecked development.

This book is a journal of his forty-year journey through live oak country in search of these elders of the Southern landscape. It is part autobiography, part history, and part appeal to preserve the remaining old oaks before they and their stories are lost forever.