Posted 20 hours ago

Around the World in 80 Trees

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Nature writing at its best, skilfully weaving science with fascinating folklore and the sheer wonder of trees.

View image in fullscreen ‘The Creator exasperatedly flung the baobab upside down with its roots in the air’ … baobab trees near Rufisque, Senegal. The smooth bark of the beech has long been associated with writing: beech boards once enclosed vellum books and in many languages the words for this tree and for the written word are similar.Guardian Australia acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, waters and community. An arboreal odyssey" - NATURE"One of the most quietly beautiful books of the year" - DAILY MAILEvening Standard Books of the Year 2018The Times Gardening Books of the Year 2018Discover the secretive world of trees in Jonathan Drori's number one bestseller. By day, the distinctive monochrome pattern of snow-clad birch forests is dazzling and disorientating, but during long boreal nights, their moonlit, ghostly forms take on an eerie power. As the book takes the reader on a journey around the world, it reveals trees that give us food and medicine, trees with ancient legends, record-breaking trees and more.

Its clusters of pretty cream flowers have a strong scent and plenty of nectar to attract hordes of pollinating insects. The book combines history, science and a wealth of quirky detail - there should be surprises for everyone.

After a brief rest, the female also exits, dousing herself in pollen produced by male flowers as she goes.

From India’s sacred banyan tree to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – as well as raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup. The strawberry tree is native to the western Mediterranean and the southwest of Ireland – but not Britain.

An iconic fruit in all the cultures of the region and a staple food containing up to two-thirds sugar, the date has altered the course of history by enabling large numbers of people to live in deserts. Liquid urushiol causes extreme rashes, and even its vapour promotes itching that can linger for months. From the trees of Britain, to India's sacred banyan tree, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration - not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.

We pay respect by giving voice to social justice, acknowledging our shared history and valuing the cultures of First Nations.

Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin's Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees alike, the swankiest streets in nineteenth-century London, which were paved with Australian eucalyptus wood, and the redwood forests of California, where the secret to the trees' soaring heights can be found in the properties of the tiniest drops of water. This is a wonderful tour of the Earth’s trees, revealing their unique characteristics and the vital roles they have played in human life and culture.

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