Elegant and beautiful, rich in history and supremely useful, the ash tree has played an extraordinary yet largely unrecognised part in shaping both our natural environment and the material culture and beliefs of millions of people around the world. Ash charts the evolution of this magnificent tree, and its 43 species, across the Northern Hemisphere for the past 44 million years. From its significance in ancient Indo-European cultures, to its remarkable properties in treating Alzheimer’s, Parker looks at the botany, cultural history and medicinal uses of the ash tree. He also looks at topical issues, such as the devastating effects that the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle and the ash dieback fungal infection are having on Northern Hemisphere forests.
Edward Parker is Director of the Springhead Trust in Dorset, and is author or co-author of many books, including Ancient Trees of the National Trust (2016), Photographing Trees (2012) and Ancient Trees: Trees That Live For a Thousand Years (2012).
"The triumph and tragedy of the ash is one of the stories that define our age. Few trees are more beautiful and so bountiful in the number of species they support, and none are so versatile in the uses we have found for it. Edward Parker’s book fills one with admiration for this wonderful tree even as we weep for its fate."
– Peter Marren, natural history writer and conservationist