A tree in his window

Born of a passion, the Internet site on the trees of Pierre-Yves Landouer is the fruit of a search of more than ten years. Story.

The man is an enthusiast. A true, pure, hard. Persevering to the point of staying awake many nights until longer time to improve his Internet site. Audacious so as to climb the grids of the park of Sceaux, closed to the public, to photograph trees fallen down by winter storms of 1999. And above all, capable of jumping from one tree to a leaf, a flower to a fruit, a story to a memory, a comment to an idea. A losing breath and his interlocutors, however, still caught on the wire. In short, Pierre-Yves Landouer is a passionate, always ready to lead in a frantic race to the bottom of the woods, parks and French forests.

And however, trees have made him for a long time shade. Him, the young engineer of Bridges and Roadways who drew and enlarged many departmental and national roads of France and of Navarre. Should one day a majestic maple stands near a construction site in southern France, near Bayonne, to take up his defense. In vain. "The contractors in public works make very little regard of the environment and, therefore, the trees, " he grumbles today. First memory of a seed of awareness. And then life spent up until about ten years ago. Pierre-Yves Landouer, on vacation in Britain in the home of his parents bought on a whim a little guide on trees. "I needed to know what was around me in nature, " he says. Book in hand, he made his first turn in the garden. Since then he has not stopped, traveling gardens and forests, parks and groves around the world.

Pierre-Yves Landouer

A conquering passion
"At first, I used the small technical data sheets of the city of Paris which helped me a lot. Then, works more solid, better researched guided my steps in forests and parks of the Paris region very, very rich in trees". Very quickly his evenings were occupied to list, to draw up an inventory and to sort out the fruit of its diurnal walkings, to classify photos, taken whatever is the time. Some leaves caused difficulties to it just like that of the oak chestnut which it has put for a long time to identify. "Sometimes, he points out, it is necessary to prove how it is connected in the stem to identify some leaves". Because each has its distinctives, assures Pierre-Yves Landouer, him who confesses only hardly a weakness for Silk Tree and "its flowers with long silky and pink stamens grouped as bobbles" and the Judas tree for " its nice small round and pink flowers ".
Throughout the years, his herbarium was enriched with new leaves, flowers and fruit, and then, as and of his quest, he professionalized. "At first, he says, I classify leaves by similarity, then logically I ended up sorting families. "

A search which does not weaken wherever it happens. New species picked up in India, North America and Africa came into force in his herbarium. "Abroad, besides museums, I rush of course to parks and gardens", Pierre-Yves Landouer smiles as if to justify the passion of the collector. But it is in the park of Sceaux that he goes most often, where he has his landmarks and his ties and the trees of "his" garden.

A site devoted to trees
His herbarium, which is made up of two big filing cabinets today, stayed for a long time in secret. Pierre-Yves Landouer does not stay over the reasons of this passion that he did not want or could share at first, refusing his son even to show them in his class. But in October, 1999, coup de théâtre during a an exhibition of photos in Antony's local library where it is blowing the idea of an exhibition of trees and flowers to the conservative who takes him at the word. He uses the computer of his son to prepare the exhibition fixed in October, 2000 on topic "It is an extraordinary garden". Then, looking at so many sheets about trees, comments about trees, plan to launch an Internet site titillates Pierre-Yves Landouer more and more. "I saw my son creating his own site. Then, why not me ? I was reassured all the more as no site existed corresponding to what I wanted to make".

His scientist training and the rigour of his function, who is in charged of the coordination of the passage to the euro in 2002 for Natexis bank, can again express himself entirely. "I needed a lot of courage and patience. I lost my last hair", he laughs. By dint of persistence, time spent and intuitions, Pierre-Yves Landouer eventually decode the mysteries of computers and programming. "I thought the day I thought the night. And ideas struck, " he reminds.

"I needed to know what there was around me in nature."

Today, he goes surfing on Internet in search of programming-gadget. "On a site, it is necessary to be able to have a good time while having a product at the same time aesthetic and practical", he asserts, he who tries to improve the applet "Neige " which does not work on his site launched last September. And in measure of reactions on his site, he scrawls continuously on small papers corrections and modifications to be performed during his next evenings. The hours of work accumulate, but it doesn't much matter. "It is huge", he says simply. A true enthusiast who is not although ready to rely on his laurels. Therefore do not hesitate to visit his site !

exposition herbarium october 2000

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