There has never been a better time to plant trees. As well as playing a vital role in the health of the natural world and of us humans, these essential life-giving plants also deliver a vast array of hidden benefits such as cooling shade, rainfall interception and carbon capture – but only if we plant the right tree in the right place.
International tree expert Henrik Sjöman along with garden designer and passionate advocate for the environment Arit Anderson have created this visionary resource suitable for the world's temperate regions. It opens with a clear explanation of ecosystem services and how trees deliver them. Some trees excel at particular roles such as providing food for pollinators at times when it is scarce or filtering air pollution. Others have adapted in ways that allow them to cope with extreme conditions such as drought, low-nutrient soil and high winds.
At the heart of the book is a unique A-Z Tree Directory representing more than 550 trees chosen for their ecosystem benefits, resilience and a host of other criteria that will ensure their continuing contribution to our future gardens and landscapes. A further quick-reference Tree Selection Table provides key attributes for each species at a glance.
This important new tree selection guide marks a step change in approach that will lead to more trees reaching their full potential and a richer environment for future generations.
Henrik Sjöman is a Scientific Curator at Gothenburg Botanical Garden, a Senior Researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He specializes in how trees deliver ecosystem services in urban landscapes and the practical applications of this in terms of diversifying the urban treescape. Henrik communicates his research through numerous publications and by lecturing to urban planners, landscape architects, garden designers and tree nurseries throughout the world.
Arit Anderson studied garden design at Capel Manor College and rose quickly to success at RHS Chelsea 2013 winning the Fresh Talent category followed by a Gold Medal at RHS Hampton Court in 2016 for her own show garden which highlighted the need for renewable energy. She is a presenter for BBC Gardeners' World, hosts a popular podcast Growing Greener and writes for national publications all of which enable her to open up the debate about the future of gardening in a changing climate to a wide audience.
"To plant the right species of tree is so important if it is to establish and reach independence and the information in this well researched book will help anyone make the most appropriate and long-lasting selection."
– Tony Kirkham MBE VMH
"My favourite chapter is 'Think like a Tree' which sheds light on the welfare of trees, their tolerance, adaptability and resilience. It prompts us to reflect on our often demanding expectations of trees and encourages us to consider how we can support them."
– Dr Wei Yang, FACSS FRTPI
"I am passionate about trees and enjoy planting them in my garden. This book will certainly help anyone to choose a suitable species for their garden."
– Dame Judi Dench
"The authors' combined expertise within the fields of tree selection, urban forestry, and landscape design adds a lot of value to this book and its usability as an essential reference guide. I will keep this valuable book at close hand for my own work in urban forestry. "
– Cecil Konijnendijk, Professor of Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia
"This brilliant book is not only a well-illustrated love letter to trees, but importantly demonstrates and applies science and evolutionary adaptations within forest ecosystems to more domestic and urban settings. Arit and Henrik get us to think about how trees work with and communicate with each other – above and below the ground. In a time of real need, this knowledge helps us to plant more resilient trees that can regenerate our dying world."
– Charlie Harpur, Head Gardener, Knepp Estate
"I hope you all enjoy reading this book as much as I have. If we all understand the concepts it splendidly provides, we can all start to plant trees which will not only enrich us, but also provide the necessary benefits needed by the future generations."
– Kevin Martin, Head of Tree Collections, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew