The 43 Trees Project

Max, The Makings of Greatness
February 1954

Max of 43 Trees

Max's parents believed he all the makings of greatness, but Max knew far more than he ever let on..

His parents told him that living the life of a tree was hard. Trees spend the winters leafless in the cold, hot and thirsty in the summer, and absorbing airborne toxins all year round.

They had hoped that he would grow up to be something important. They wanted Max to become something greater than himself. They saw him as part of a great building, or perhaps his pulp would be used for a historical document that would live forever.

But he always wanted to be just a tree. He believed that his leaves were to protect from the hot, his large frame was to shield from the cold, and his life's work was to absorb all the pollution.

Living his life as a tree was hard, especially in his later years. The cold winters and the hot summers became more difficult to handle as his bark began to peel, his trunk began to hollow and his branches began to break.

Until the end, Max did what trees do, proving that greatness comes in many forms.