Skip to main content

Remarkable Trees

Throughout our history trees have been central to our existence. They provide us with vital ingredients for life—food, medicine, materials, even the oxygen we breathe. Ecologically, they are crucial in controlling pollution and moderating the climate, and culturally they are important to our religions, folklore and art. It has also been shown that as well as greening our lives they can improve our health and mental well-being.

Remarkable Trees tells the unique story of more than sixty species, each selected for its resonance and connection with people. In portraits that combine vivid cultural and historical narrative with a firm scientific grounding, Christina Harrison and Tony Kirkham reveal fascinating details of trees from the world’s major environmental zones and habitats. Some are obvious superstars such as oaks, redwoods and coconut, while others are more surprising: we learn of the monkey puzzle, a tree native to Chile that “can grow for 1,000 years,” and of the manchineel, a tree that contains sap so toxic to human skin that it’s a risk to stand beneath it on a rainy day. In these pages are trees that are healers and killers, trees that serve as foundations of great buildings and grand feasts, and trees that leave us with a sense of wonder and of worry for their survival.

In a tribute to the artists and botanists who have been inspired by trees for centuries, this book is filled with 240 delightful illustrations. The varied and beautiful images come from the unrivalled archive at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and they bring this enlightening and enchanting volume to life.

While trees have supported us for millennia, we have recently lost that direct, deep connection with them. Harrison and Kirkham remind us that we do not have to look far to reestablish that relationship and that we can still cherish the splendor and significance of these quiet giants.

256 pages | 225 color plates | 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2019

Biological Sciences: Botany, Natural History


“To discover so many intriguing things about trees from around the world is truly wonderful. This beautifully illustrated book reveals just how much these useful, fascinating, dangerous yet beautiful living beings really contribute to our lives.”

Dame Judi Dench

Table of Contents


Cedar / Mahogany / Black locust tree / Cork oak / Cricket bat willow / English oak / Foxglove tree / Hazel / Paper birch / Sitka spruce / Yew / Sweet chestnut

Brazil nut / Cacao / Cinnamon / Coconut / Nutmeg / Olive / Pecan / Japanese persimmon / Sago palm / Pomegranate / Stone pine

Maidenhair tree / Fish poison tree / Headache tree / Manchineel / Strychnine / Neem / Quinine / Tea tree

Baobab / The coffin tree / Dragon’s blood tree / Ebony / Indian banyan fig / Frankincense / Hawthorn / Mulberry / Soap bark tree / Annatto

Mountain ash / Alerce / Bristlecone pine / Candlestick banksia / The handkerchief tree / Coco de mer / Dawn redwood / Douglas fir / Kauri / Durian / Red mangrove / Quaking aspen / Redwoods

Juniper / Pōhutukawa / The Franklin tree / Monkey puzzle / Chinese silver fir / Wollemi pine / St Helena gumwood / Café marron / Tōtara

Further Reading
Sources of Illustrations

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press