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Hidden Natural Histories: Trees

Behind the cedar scent of fresh pencil shavings and the slightly bitter tang of orange in our marmalade are untold stories of human interactions with the natural world. Celebrating the human heritage of these and other natural phenomena, the new Hidden Natural Histories series offers fascinating insight into the cultivation and use of the bits of nature we take for granted in our daily lives. In Trees, noted garden writer Noel Kingsbury turns his pen—or pencil—to the leafy life-forms that have warmed our hearths, framed our boats for ocean voyaging, and provided us shade on summer afternoons. From the fortitude of the ancient ginkgo tree to artistic depictions of quince fruit in the ruins of Pompeii, Kingsbury explores the culinary, medicinal, cultural, and practical uses of a forest of tree species. Packed with informative and beautiful illustrations—both new and from historical archives—Trees will charm and enlighten anyone interested in our relationship with the natural world and will be a special delight for every gardener, chef, and climber of trees.

224 pages | 200 color plates | 5 1/2 x 7 3/4

Biological Sciences: Botany, Ecology


Hidden Natural Histories: Herbs and Hidden Natural Histories: Trees are two wonderful examples of guides that are both accessible and interesting to the layman and expert alike. Both volumes are extremely user-friendly and visually pleasing, with beautifully detailed illustrations of more than 150 different species of trees and herbs. They contain a variety of information, ranging from botanical descriptions to ethnobotanical lore, including such things as the medicinal, culinary, and spiritual uses of the plants. Detailed germination and growing conditions for each plant are also included. As an added bonus, relevant literary or historical quotes are included for many of the plants described. . . . In Trees, Kingsbury also includes average heights and typical crown shapes for each of the trees he describes, which is a unique feature of this guide. Both volumes are extremely well organized, and both include an introduction, a brief description about how to use the book, glossaries, a catalog of plants, and an index. . . . Informative and eye-opening. They are highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.”

Lyndsie Robinson | Booklist

“Newcomers to the world of herbs will be surprised to learn and appreciate that there is an entire world of medicinal trees all around us. These trees are both native and introduced, temperate and tropical, common and rare. They deserve further study and recognition as essential and critical resources in herbal usage, as well as greater protections and heightened conservation efforts.”


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