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This paper describes the Global Trees (GT) system that provides a multi-layered interface to a global address space view of distributed tree data structures, while providing scalable performance on distributed memory systems. The Global Trees system utilizes coarse-grained data movement to enhance locality and communication efficiency. We describe the design and implementation of GT, illustrate its use in the context of a gravitational simulation application, and provide experimental results that demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. The key benefits of using this system include efficient shared-memory style programming of distributed trees, tree-specific optimizations for data access and computation, and the ability to customize many aspects of GT to optimize application performance.