The Glory of the Tree: An Illustrated History

by Noel Kingsbury
Photographed by Andrea Jones

Firefly Books | October 17, 2014 | Hardcover

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The great trees of the world in glorious color.

The Glory of the Tree describes 90 species of tree that collectively span the millennia of evolution and cross the globe. Organized into six categories -- Antiquity, Ecology, Sacred, Utility, Food and Ornament -- the trees are presented in short chapters that touch on botany, history, culture and more.

An inset box gives the basic characteristics of each tree: family and species, brief description, natural origin, size, potential age and climate. A stunning full-page photograph shows a prime specimen of the tree.

The Glory of the Tree celebrates 90 trees native to regions around the world, including these:

  • Antiquity: Ginkgo, Magnolia, Giant sequoia, Liquidamber, Quaking aspen, Tabaquillo
  • Ecology: Birch, Red maple, Mangrove, Longleaf pine, Eucalyptus, Black locust
  • Sacred: Monkey puzzle, Camphor, American elm (the "Liberty Tree"), Banyan, Cedar of Lebanon
  • Utility: Sycamore, Cork oak, Sugar maple, Ebony, Rubber, Calabash
  • Food: Toddy palm, Date palm, Pecan, Mango, Clove, Indian Jujube
  • Ornament: Lombardy poplar, Mimosa, Handkerchief tree, Japanese Maple, Pagoda, Leyland cypress.

Beyond a glance, how much thought do we give any one tree? Do we know the species' history, what makes it unique, or even why we should care? Do we know that dinosaurs grazed on magnolia blossoms? That only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was it learned that North America's "homegrown" apple, Malus domestica, originated in the fruit forests of Russia? Or that male black mulberry flowers eject pollen at 350 miles per hour -- half the speed of sound, and the fastest movement in the plant kingdom?

The Glory of the Tree reveals all this and much more, in full color. It is a choice selection for arborists, gardeners, tree lovers (and huggers), and all who appreciate the beauty of nature.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 11.5 × 9.5 × 1 in

Published: October 17, 2014

Publisher: Firefly Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770852654

ISBN - 13: 9781770852655

Found in: Science and Nature

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– More About This Product –

The Glory of the Tree: An Illustrated History

The Glory of the Tree: An Illustrated History

by Noel Kingsbury
Photographed by Andrea Jones

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 11.5 × 9.5 × 1 in

Published: October 17, 2014

Publisher: Firefly Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1770852654

ISBN - 13: 9781770852655

Read from the Book

INTRODUCTION For the vast majority of us, trees are a familiar and inevitable part of the landscape in which we live. Most of us have trees near us, perhaps in our own gardens, and they are an essential part of our lives. The knowledge that in many cases they have been in place for longer than we have, and are likely to outlive us, gives them a special significance, reminding us perhaps of our own relative lack of importance in the great scheme of things. Many of us recall favorite trees from our childhood, the ones we climbed or passed every day on the way to school, or which stood out for some reason as unusual or distinctive. Trees and memories of them are among the links that we use to connect time and place. Trees are an essential part of our sense of place, whether rural or urban, traditional or contemporary. Urban trees are particularly important; they have rarity value and serve as poignant reminders of the wider natural world. It is no surprise that determined campaigns erupt when urban trees are threatened by local government, developers or even disease. We relate to trees very much as individuals; despite their size and form they seem to have almost human characteristics, which gives us all the more reason to defend them when they are threatened. In nature, trees grow alone only rarely. They are collective beings, the constituents of woods and forests, and we only really understand them if we see them as parts of a whole. Yet to fully appreciate th
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Table of Contents

Contents

    Introduction
    1 Antiquity
    2 Ecology
    3 Sacred
    4 Utility
    5 Food
    6 Ornament
Index
Acknowledgments And
Further Reading

From the Publisher

The great trees of the world in glorious color.

The Glory of the Tree describes 90 species of tree that collectively span the millennia of evolution and cross the globe. Organized into six categories -- Antiquity, Ecology, Sacred, Utility, Food and Ornament -- the trees are presented in short chapters that touch on botany, history, culture and more.

An inset box gives the basic characteristics of each tree: family and species, brief description, natural origin, size, potential age and climate. A stunning full-page photograph shows a prime specimen of the tree.

The Glory of the Tree celebrates 90 trees native to regions around the world, including these:

  • Antiquity: Ginkgo, Magnolia, Giant sequoia, Liquidamber, Quaking aspen, Tabaquillo
  • Ecology: Birch, Red maple, Mangrove, Longleaf pine, Eucalyptus, Black locust
  • Sacred: Monkey puzzle, Camphor, American elm (the "Liberty Tree"), Banyan, Cedar of Lebanon
  • Utility: Sycamore, Cork oak, Sugar maple, Ebony, Rubber, Calabash
  • Food: Toddy palm, Date palm, Pecan, Mango, Clove, Indian Jujube
  • Ornament: Lombardy poplar, Mimosa, Handkerchief tree, Japanese Maple, Pagoda, Leyland cypress.

Beyond a glance, how much thought do we give any one tree? Do we know the species' history, what makes it unique, or even why we should care? Do we know that dinosaurs grazed on magnolia blossoms? That only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was it learned that North America's "homegrown" apple, Malus domestica, originated in the fruit forests of Russia? Or that male black mulberry flowers eject pollen at 350 miles per hour -- half the speed of sound, and the fastest movement in the plant kingdom?

The Glory of the Tree reveals all this and much more, in full color. It is a choice selection for arborists, gardeners, tree lovers (and huggers), and all who appreciate the beauty of nature.

About the Author

Dr. Noel Kingsbury is recognized internationally through his many books and journalism as a leading innovator in horticulture, landscape, planting design and plant ecology. His recent books include Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls. He lives in Wales.

Andrea Jones is one of the world's foremost garden photographers. Her work has appeared in Guardian Weekend, Daily Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, BBC Gardeners' World, House and Garden, and Country Living. She lives in Scotland, and has had several successful solo exhibitions in the UK and the United States.

by Noel Kingsbury ; Photography by Andrea Jones

Editorial Reviews

They tower above us, they nurture us, they provide us with clean air; trees are crucial to our survival. They also bring much beauty into the world, and tranquility. Author Noel Kingsbury celebrates the tree and its importance in this coffee table book. He divides his exploration of trees into six chapters: antiquity, ecology, sacred, utility, food, and ornament. Within each of these chapters there is a detailed look at a number of trees that best illustrate the concepts presented. When we think of the oldest living trees, it is generally the redwood that comes to mind but the giant sequoia will live more than twice as long, and the bristlecone pine even longer still. In each chapter are beautiful photographs of the various species that are presented, along with a detailed description. Some of the featured trees are at risk due to habitat destruction, like the Cayman ironwood, but others have proven their value in new ways, such as the longleaf pine that is now being championed as a sustainable choice for forest management. From the towering ancient sequoias to the brilliant annual displays of the Judas tree, there is a fascinating variety of trees gathered in this gorgeous book.