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Distributed for Reaktion Books


Ash is a beautifully illustrated account of the botanical and cultural faces of the ash tree. The book maps the tree’s evolution and geographical spread across the entire Northern Hemisphere over the last 44 million years, and describes the 43 species that grace the planet today. Edward Parker also explores the botany, cultural history, and medicinal uses of the tree, from its significance in ancient Indo-European cultures, to its remarkable properties in treating Alzheimer’s disease. In addition he looks at topical issues, such as the devastating effects that the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle and the ash dieback fungal infection are having on Northern Hemisphere forests.

224 pages | 80 color plates, 30 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2


Biological Sciences: Botany

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"This book has much to recommend it. Thoughtful, even poetic in places, it covers scientific and medical information thoroughly, and the treatment of history, myth, and folklore makes it a wonderful sourcebook. For this it is worth its space on any shelf."

Gardens Illustrated

"The first impression of Ash, by Parker, is the exceptional quality of its production. From very first handling, the extremely pleasing feel is immediately apparent, and this continues throughout, from the quality of the printed page to the many and varied, super-glossy photographs and drawings. It’s a cliché about 'books and covers,' but in this instance the reader really will not be disappointed. It is a joy to just hold the book! The fact that it is also an easy and absorbing read is a plus. . . . Ash brings together a broad and varied perspective of this most prolific of trees, with abundant stories, fascinating facts, and scientific research into fraxinus from around the globe."

Living Woods Magazine

"A lovely work, beautifully illustrated with numerous color photographs. . . . An entertaining, educational work. Recommended."


"In Ash, we hear the authoritative voice of an expert and genuine enthusiast. Tree aficionados will love the detail, but there’s plenty to satisfy anyone with a broad interest in nature; the botanical story is enjoyably told and there is much of joyful human interest."

Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland News

Ash by Parker is a fascinating, fact- and photo-filled Fraxinus feast, and proudly stands tall amongst Reaktion Books’ other tree—and tree-like—titles such as Birch, Palm, and Mulberry.”

Botany One

"The triumph and tragedy of the ash is one of the stories that define our age. Few trees are more beautiful and so bountiful in the number of species they support, and none are so versatile in the uses we have found for it. Parker’s book fills one with admiration for this wonderful tree even as we weep for its fate."

Peter Marren, author of "Rainbow Dust: Three Centuries of Butterfly Delight"

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