A shaman travels to Italy to meet a tree-climber. From their encounter the desire of making something exceptional, that nobody has done before: measure the trees of Selva Nublada, Venezuela, while climbing them.
The land of Maori, always pictured as one of the last pristine natural realms. Three month of exploration through the north of the island, working with local enterprises on forests and gardens management. In the end, we had to surrender: its beauty and uniqueness was destroyed long ago, by the first colonizers and their greed.
The araucaria known as Pino of Chile is an ancient plant, with pointed, needles-like leaves, so difficult to climb and manage that when the British first found it they named it monkey puzzletree, beleiving that not even a monkey could have climbed it. But monkeys do not exist in Chile, then we decided we would find a way to climb those ancient plants, up to the top to discover their hidden heart. The hidden gem among millions of thorns. And we left to meet our green dragon.
Fizroya cupressoides. Huge and unknown cypresses at the edge of the great Patagonia lakes, sheltered under the rough Andes by glaciers and impenetrable forests of coigue and bamboo. Old trees, in a land where forests are almost a rarity. We would have never thought to enter a woodland where man had not arrived yet, and there meet such imposing, majestic and yet to-be-discovered trees.
It was our first real expedition, now more than 20 years ago. We wanted to find and measure the tallest redwood trees and look for the oldest one in the world. A series of events ruined our projects and we stopped at the height of 88 meters. Nevertheless it was the beginning of a story that has borne fruit and still today it continues.
It sound absurd: in 2015 there was no scientific certainty around the tallest tree in Italy. Some measurements were rather outdated, some others were taken with little precision, however all were taken with different instruments but only from the ground. After studying the existing bibliography about all the higher-than-45-meters trees we decided to measure their dimensions by direct drop line in less than a month. 10 regions, 50 trees, 20 days. We finally found 'The Italian King Tree' but the research is not over…
It was regarded as the European tallest tree: a Eucalyptus in Portugal, over than 72 meters high. It had been measured a few years before by an English team, and we were wondering Is it he the only one in the forest? And is it really the highest? We left for a new journey to find out more and to study other “arboreal wonders”, imported by the Portuguese in hundreds years from all over the world. What we found was unbelievable