A captivatingly informative and visually beautiful survey of the tree species – from all over the world – that human cultures have found most useful.
Each tree species is the subject of a concise text centred on a story – or stories – about the tree in question, and is depicted by means of a photograph, painting or other aesthetic artefact. The species are organized thematically according to the virtues they impart, be that in the form of timber, nuts, fruit or medicine. The bloodwood tree, a native of central America, is a tree that made a nation. Its wood produces a brilliant and lucrative bright red dye and was imported to Europe for use in dyeing fabrics. The 17th and 18th-century logging camps established by the British later became the modern nation of Belize, and the bloodwood tree appears on its national flag.
From the bloodwood to the breadfruit and from the cinchona to the peach, these are trees that offer not merely shelter, timber and fuel but also medicines, dyes, foods and fibres. They are very special trees, and Max Adams, author of The Wisdom of Trees, has a plethora of such fascinating stories to tell about them.
Max Adams is the author of The Wisdom of Trees, The Little Book of Planting Trees and the bestselling The King in the North. A teacher of woodland tree histories, he manages an area of woodland in County Durham, where he has lived and worked in the North-East of England since 1993.
"The book's quietness speaks as loud as a scream"
– Daily Mail
"Wonderfully produced [...] This is one of the best books I have had to review in the last 12 months [...] In this time of climate change every home and school should have a copy"
– Gazette & Herald (Ryedale)
– Country Life
"Max Adams has carefully selected 80 remarkable trees, celebrating their stories, their history and their uses. In beautifully illustrated portraits, the author investigates humanity's relationship with trees [...] There are a plethora of fascinating stories behind every root and branch"
"A fascinating study of 80 tree species, their practical uses as sources of medicine, timber, fruit and nuts, and how they have influenced human culture"
– Gardens Illustrated
"A visual treat packed with interesting facts and information [...] You can easily be drawn into reading it from cover to cover, just as much as dipping into it to look at trees of interest"
– Scottish Forestry