For as long as there have been humans, 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 climate, and culturally they are at the center of our religion, 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 their resonance and connection with humankind. 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 around the world's major zones and ecologies. Some are obvious superstars, like oaks, redwoods, and apple trees, while others are more surprising varieties: 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 feeling wondrous and worried for their survival.
In a tribute to the artists and botanists who have been inspired by trees for centuries, this book is filled with more than two hundred delightful illustrations. The varied and beautiful range of images come from the unrivalled archive at England's 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 therm. Harrison and Kirkham remind us that we do not have to look far to reestablish that relationship. The stories revealed in Remarkable Trees remind us of why we should take the time to appreciate and care for these quiet giants that will forever be an intimate part of our culture, our past, and our future.
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