Canadian Woodworking

The story of trees

One of the most enjoyable books I've read on trees in the past couple of years.


One of the most enjoyable books I've read on trees in the past couple of years.

Author: Carl Duguay

Inspiring, fabulous, fascinating, wonderful – you’ll probably see all these buzzwords thrown around in relation to this book, and they’re absolutely right. This is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read on trees in the past couple of years. It’s part dendrology and part anecdote. What binds the two is a focus on the interdependent relationship between trees and humans – which accounts for the book’s subtitle: “And How They Changed The World”.

PUBLISHER: Laurence King Publishing
AUTHOR: Kevin Hobbs and David West
PRICE: $36.30
ISBN: 978-1786275226
YEAR: 2020
FORMAT: Hardcover, 216 pages

Throughout recorded history we’ve looked to trees, not only to make sense of our lives, but to sustain us. Though it seems, as the authors state “we take for granted how important trees are today – they impact just about every aspect of our lives.”

In this book you’ll get some basic characteristics on each of the 100 species included – origin, climate and habitat, longevity, speed of growth, maximum attainable height and so forth. All interesting facts in their own right. What you also get, and which I found to be much more interesting, are stories about individual species’ importance to the development of civilizations, the economy, religion, and our physical wellbeing.

To cap it off are the wonderful colour drawings of trees, flowers, berries, leaves and nuts by Thibaud Herem, a French illustrator based in the UK. Sumptuous.

the story of trees

Like your favourite music this is a book that won’t grow stale – one that I know I’ll enjoy re-reading again. And for a nature loving friend or family member it will make a wonderful and appreciated gift.

Last modified: September 29, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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