The Long, Long Life of Trees

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Yale University Press, 2016 - Gardening - 287 pages
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A lyrical tribute to the diversity of trees, their physical beauty, their special characteristics and uses, and their ever-evolving meanings

Since the beginnings of history trees have served humankind in countless useful ways, but our relationship with trees has many dimensions beyond mere practicality. Trees are so entwined with human experience that diverse species have inspired their own stories, myths, songs, poems, paintings, and spiritual meanings. Some have achieved status as religious, cultural, or national symbols.
 
In this beautifully illustrated volume Fiona Stafford offers intimate, detailed explorations of seventeen common trees, from ash and apple to pine, oak, cypress, and willow. The author also pays homage to particular trees, such as the fabled Ankerwyke Yew, under which Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn, and the spectacular cherry trees of Washington, D.C. Stafford discusses practical uses of wood past and present, tree diseases and environmental threats, and trees' potential contributions toward slowing global climate change. Brimming with unusual topics and intriguing facts, this book celebrates trees and their long, long lives as our inspiring and beloved natural companions.
 

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Contents

Buds Bark and a Golden Bough
1
Yew
21
Cherry
39
Rowan
53
Olive
65
Cypress
81
Oak
93
Ash
115
Birch
167
Horse Chestnut
179
Elm
191
Willow
207
Hawthorn
223
Pine
239
Apple
255
Roots and Branches
273

Poplar
129
Holly
143
Sycamore
155
Index
281
Illustration Credits
289
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About the author (2016)

Fiona Stafford is professor of English language and literature, University of Oxford. She is author and presenter of two highly acclaimed series for BBC Radio 3 titled The Meaning of Trees. She lives in Bucks, UK.

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