From their invaluable role in fighting climate change and cleaning the air of our cities, to the huge mental health benefits being around their leafy presence can bring, trees are at the very centre of both our urban and rural ecosystems.
Written by Ben Raskin, head of horticulture at the Soil Association, and supported by Friends of the Earth UK, this earthy call-to-action teaches the practical how-tos alongside the most interesting insights to appreciate the significance of magnificent trees. As movements to rewild the world around us gain pace, tree planting is being recognised as an empowering, practical and surprisingly simple action that each and every one of us can do in our backyard, park, local community, school, town or city.
Sections in this book include:
- Trees and the World – This section celebrates just how vital trees are, from how they help regulate the climate and absorb dangerous methane and nitrous oxide, to how they enrich soil, support wildlife and keep our city air clean, as well as the threats they face from climate change.
- Growing Your Own Tree – Tips on growing saplings from seed, cuttings or grafting, plus guidance on care and maintenance, from weeding and mulching to when to prune and pollard.
- Forty Best Trees – A guide to the top 40 of our favourite trees, appreciated for their fruit and nuts, their ornamental value and the role they play in supporting wildlife, including a neat introduction to how to recognise trees by their leaf shape, flowers, seeds and fruit.
- Trees and Happiness – Research has revealed that trees are effective at reducing stress levels and improving our mental well-being, and this section digs into exactly how this happens.
Whether you're a keen gardener, an avid environmental activist or simply want to learn more about these beautiful and powerful organisms, this must-read book illustrated by popular screen printer Rosanna Morris sends the powerful message that we can plant a tree and retree the world.
Ben Raskin is the Head of Horticulture at the Soil Association in the UK and the author of Zero-Waste Gardening (2021). He runs courses and training on organic growing including community orchards and launched the Soil Association's flagship Organic Apprenticeship Scheme in 2007. Ben got the gardening bug working on an organic vineyard in northern Italy and has worked in horticulture for over 20 years, including a stint as Assistant Head Gardener at the UK charity Garden Organic. He has also written The Community Gardening Handbook; Compost; Grow; and Bees, Bugs & Butterflies for Leaping Hare Press.
Rosanna Morris is an illustrator and printmaker interested in sustainability, food sovereignty and the environment. Many of her prints explore themes of agriculture, horticulture and the natural world. Rosanna also teaches printmaking and drawing at various art schools including the Bristol Drawing School at the Royal West of England Academy and the Spike Print Studio.