The Tree Projects
Photographer, Filmmaker & Climber
Steven Pearce is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and is the Creative Director for The Tree Projects. Combining his photography and tree climbing skills, Steve has produced twelve 'Tree Portraits' of giant trees from around the world as well as two documentaries about Tasmania's forests. As an avid tree climber and a passionate naturalist, he has been involved in climbing and measuring a host of newly discovered giant trees in Tasmania. Over the last summer, he enabled over 400 people to experience the canopy of a giant 70m tall tree.
Changing Tasmania’s Tree Culture
Tasmania is home to the tallest and biggest trees in the Southern Hemisphere. Now is your chance to journey to the very tip of a 92m, 330 cubic meter giant. Steve with his wife Dr Jen Sanger run The Tree Projects an environmental advocacy group that has focused on the experiences people can have at the base as well as in the canopy of these giant trees.
By providing a simple platform for community members to have these experiences The Tree Projects was able to save a forest they named the Huon Valley Grove of Giants. This is an area that includes 300+ trees over 2.5 metres in diameter and 76 trees over 4.5 metres in diameter. By utilising tree climbing as an experiential tool The Tree Projects was able to gather support from the wider local community.
Amongst this community engagement, The Tree Projects invited 13 climbers from Australia and New Zealand to the Huon Valley Grove of Giants. The goal was to conduct a comprehensive forest carbon measurement from the giants all the way down to the soil. From this event, a paper was published in Austral Ecology confirming that the Huon Valley Grove of Giants is Tasmania’s most carbon-dense forest ever measured.
From climbing and measuring newly discovered giant trees to assisting more than 400 people into the canopy Steve has firmly put Tasmania’s giant trees into the spotlight with positivity, exploration and science. This work has helped to bring about a cultural shift in how everyday Tasmanians understand and appreciate these natural wonders.
Steve's presentation will not only document this journey but also provide insight into his latest initiative Big Tree State. A project that aims to develop giant tree tourism into a low-impact, sustainable and economically viable alternative industry.