Including chapters on soil properties and the role of mycorrhiza, carbon assimilation and allocation, phytopathogens, and the impact of global change on photooxidative stress, the book builds on Tranquillini’s landmark 1979 publication, Physiological Ecology of the Alpine Timberline. By combining new techniques and insights with existing core knowledge the authors explore a range of current hypotheses on tree life limitation to promote a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms determining the upper timberline.
Amid growing realization that high elevation forests have a crucial role to play in protection against natural hazards, this book represents a timely contribution to the current literature on timberline research. Drawing together more than 25 years of work, this unique book sets a new standard on the ecophysiology of trees growing at the alpine timberline. Edited by field leaders Gerhard Wieser and Michael Tausz, the book will appeal to researchers and advanced students in the fields of botany, ecology and plant ecophysiology, as well as to a wider audience interested in understanding the responses of the timberline ecotone to climatic and demographic change.
On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today.
This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
The most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use field guide to the trees of eastern North AmericaCovers 825 species, more than any comparable guide, including all the native and naturalized trees of the United States and Canada as far west as the Great PlainsFeatures specially commissioned artwork, detailed descriptions, range maps for native species, up-to-date taxonomy and names, and much, much moreAn essential guide for every tree lover
For more than a decade, Dr. Plotkin has raced against time to harvest and record new plants before the rain forests' fragile ecosystems succumb to overdevelopment—and before the Indians abandon their own culture and learning for the seductive appeal of Western material culture. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice relates nine of the author's quests, taking the reader along on a wild odyssey as he participates in healing rituals; discovers the secret of curare, the lethal arrow poison that kills in minutes; tries the hallucinogenic snuff epena that enables the Indians to speak with their spirit world; and earns the respect and fellowship of the mysterious shamans as he proves that he shares both their endurance and their reverence for the rain forest. Mark Plotkin combines the Darwinian spirit of the great writer-explorers of the nineteenth century—curious, discursive, and rigorously scientific—with a very modern concern for the erosion of our environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples.
The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Mushrooms, Fruits, and Nuts provides everything one needs to know about the most commonly found wild foods—going beyond a field guide's basic description to provide folklore and mouth-watering recipes for each entry, such as wild asparagus pizza, fiddlehead soup, blackberry mousse, and elderberry pie. This fully illustrated guide is the perfect companion for hikers, campers, and anyone who enjoys eating the good food of the earth. With it in hand, nature lovers will never take another hike without casting their eyes about with dinner in mind.
THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO WILD EDIBLE PLANTS describes the physical characteristics, habitat and distribution, and edible parts of wild plants. With color photography throughout, this guide facilitates the identification of these plants.
Originally intended for Army use, this book serves as a survival aid for civilians as well. Anyone interested in the outdoors, botany, or even in unusual sources of nutrition will find this an indispensable resource.
California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It’s the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life. Horticulturists, boosters, and civic reformers began to "improve" the bare, brown countryside, planting millions of trees to create groves, wooded suburbs, and landscaped cities. They imported the blue-green eucalypts whose tangy fragrance was thought to cure malaria. They built the lucrative "Orange Empire" on the sweet juice and thick skin of the Washington navel, an industrial fruit. They lined their streets with graceful palms to announce that they were not in the Midwest anymore.
To the north the majestic coastal redwoods inspired awe and invited exploitation. A resource in the state, the durable heartwood of these timeless giants became infrastructure, transformed by the saw teeth of American enterprise. By 1900 timber firms owned the entire redwood forest; by 1950 they had clear-cut almost all of the old-growth trees.
In time California’s new landscape proved to be no paradise: the eucalypts in the Berkeley hills exploded in fire; the orange groves near Riverside froze on cold nights; Los Angeles’s palms harbored rats and dropped heavy fronds on the streets below. Disease, infestation, and development all spelled decline for these nonnative evergreens. In the north, however, a new forest of second-growth redwood took root, nurtured by protective laws and sustainable harvesting. Today there are more California redwoods than there were a century ago.
Rich in character and story, Trees in Paradise is a dazzling narrative that offers an insightful, new perspective on the history of the Golden State and the American West.
The invaluable introductory chapters discuss tree diversity in Central America and the basics of tree identification. Family and species accounts are treated alphabetically and describe family size, number of genera and species, floral characteristics, and relative abundance. Color distribution maps supplement the useful species descriptions, and facing-page photographic plates detail bark, leaf, flower, or fruit of the species featured. Helpful appendices contain a full glossary, a comprehensive guide to leaf forms, and a list of families not covered.
The only tree guide to cover both Panama and Costa Rica together
Covers almost 500 species
438 high-resolution color photos
480 color distribution maps and two general maps
Concise and jargon-free descriptions of key characteristics for every species
Full glossary and guide to leaf forms included
Each state in this region maintains a Big Tree program that honors the largest individual tree of each species. Champion trees are determined by adding together measurements of trunk circumference, height, and canopy spread. Rosburg identifies the trees with the largest diameter and the tallest trees among the champion trees in the Upper Midwest by their county and state. Together his superb photographs and key information make this guide the perfect companion for enjoying the diversity of trees in all kinds of environments.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
Flowers, and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy ten million flowers a day and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth $30 billion dollars annually. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them.
Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, perfumes, while simultaneously bringing joy and health. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us—and animals, too—through their myriad shapes, colors, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful “super flowers,” plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers. Here, he integrates fascinating stories about the many colorful personalities who populate the world of flowers, and the flowers and pollinators themselves, with a research-based narrative that illuminates just why there is, indeed, a Reason for Flowers.
“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb
Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.
When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival.
Praise for The Man Who Planted Trees
“This is a story of miracles and obsession and love and survival. Told with Jim Robbins’s signature clarity and eye for telling detail, The Man Who Planted Trees is also the most hopeful book I’ve read in years. I kept thinking of the end of Saint Francis’s wonderful prayer, ‘And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.’ ”—Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“Absorbing, eloquent, and loving . . . While Robbins’s tone is urgent, it doesn’t compromise his crystal-clear science. . . . Even the smallest details here are fascinating.”—Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review
“The great poet W. S. Merwin once wrote, ‘On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.’ It’s good to see, in this lovely volume, that some folks are getting a head start!”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“Inspiring . . . Robbins lucidly summarizes the importance and value of trees to planet Earth and all humanity.”—The Ecologist
“ ‘Imagine a world without trees,’ writes journalist Jim Robbins. It’s nearly impossible after reading The Man Who Planted Trees, in which Robbins weaves science and spirituality as he explores the bounty these plants offer the planet.”—Audubon
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published in 2002, Deforesting the Earth was a landmark study of the history and geography of deforestation. Now available as an abridgment, this edition retains the breadth of the original while rendering its arguments accessible to a general readership.
Deforestation—the thinning, changing, and wholesale clearing of forests for fuel, shelter, and agriculture—is among the most important ways humans have transformed the environment. Surveying ten thousand years to trace human-induced deforestation’s effect on economies, societies, and landscapes around the world, Deforesting the Earth is the preeminent history of this process and its consequences.
Beginning with the return of the forests after the ice age to Europe, North America, and the tropics, Michael Williams traces the impact of human-set fires for gathering and hunting, land clearing for agriculture, and other activities from the Paleolithic age through the classical world and the medieval period. He then focuses on forest clearing both within Europe and by European imperialists and industrialists abroad, from the 1500s to the early 1900s, in such places as the New World, India, and Latin America, and considers indigenous clearing in India, China, and Japan. Finally, he covers the current alarming escalation of deforestation, with our ever-increasing human population placing a potentially unsupportable burden on the world’s forests.
The book's comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life--told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor—gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard's "One-Hundred Great Books." Others receiving the honor include such luminaries as Stephen Jay Gould and E. O. Wilson. This new paperback edition will add a prologue and an epilogue to reflect the current situation in which forests have become imperative for humanity's survival.
At the same time, many of us are removed from the world where wood is shaped and celebrated every day. That world is inhabited by a unique assortment of eccentric craftsmen and passionate enthusiasts who have created some of the world's most beloved musical instruments, feared weapons, dazzling architecture, sacred relics, and bizarre forms of transportation. In A Splintered History of Wood, Spike Carlsen has uncovered the most outlandish characters and examples, from world-champion chainsaw carvers to blind woodworkers, the Miraculous Staircase to the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and many more, in a passionate and personal exploration of nature's greatest gift.
Part of a new generation of natural history guides, Trees is packed full of stunning images that reveal intricate details and unique characteristics of the specimens featured. Expertly written and including examples from across the globe, these guides will give you knowledge of the natural world at your fingertips.
With a detailed introduction on the evolution of trees, tree classification and the types of forests and habitats that can be found across the world, Nature Guide Trees is the ideal tree identification guide.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Picture boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake. These are just a few of the unusual ideas featured in the beautifully photographed pages. All the practical considerations are here as well, including pruning to improve a view, remedial pruning to fix problems, and pruning fruit trees to increase yield.
Focusing on widely grown trees, this captivating book describes the rewards of careful and regular tree viewing, outlines strategies for improving your observations, and describes some of the most visually interesting tree structures, including leaves, flowers, buds, leaf scars, twigs, and bark. In-depth profiles of ten familiar species—including such beloved trees as white oak, southern magnolia, white pine, and tulip poplar—show you how to recognize and understand many of their most compelling (but usually overlooked) physical features.
Featured trees include the American Beech, Ginkgo, Red Maple, Southern Magnolia, Tulip Poplar, White Oak, White Pine, American Sycamore, Black Walnut and Eastern Red Cedar.
As vividly as John Krakauer puts readers on Everest, John Vaillant takes us into the heart of North America's last great forest.
It is compact enough to fit in the pocket, yet packed with essential information for the natural history enthusiast.
Renowned natural history artists including Cy Baker, David Daly, Colin Emberson and Lyn Wells painted the illustrations.
• Field-tested by forestry experts
Identify trees in any season, not just when they are in full leaf. This field-tested guide features color photos showing bark; branching patterns; fruits, flowers, or nuts; and overall appearance; as well as leaf color and shape—all chosen specifically to illustrate trees in spring, summer, winter, and fall. Accompanying text describes common locations and identifying characteristics. Created for in-the-field or at-home use, this guide includes an easy-to-use key that will help you put a name to any tree by flipping only a few pages. Covers every common tree in eastern North America.
Out of all the trees in the world, the ash is most closely bound up with who we are: the tree we have made the greatest and most varied use of over the course of human history. One frigid winter morning, Robert Penn lovingly selected an ash tree and cut it down. He wanted to see how many beautiful, handmade objects could be made from it.
Thus begins an adventure of craftsmanship and discovery. Penn visits the shops of modern-day woodworkers—whose expertise has been handed down through generations—and finds that ancient woodworking techniques are far from dead. He introduces artisans who create a flawless axe handle, a rugged and true wagon wheel, a deadly bow and arrow, an Olympic-grade toboggan, and many other handmade objects using their knowledge of ash’s unique properties. Penn connects our daily lives back to the natural woodlands that once dominated our landscapes.
Throughout his travels—from his home in Wales, across Europe, and America—Penn makes a case for the continued and better use of the ash tree as a sustainable resource and reveals some of the dire threats to our ash trees. The emerald ash borer, a voracious and destructive beetle, has killed tens of millions of ash trees across North America since 2002. Unless we are prepared to act now and better value our trees, Penn argues, the ash tree and its many magnificent contributions to mankind will become a thing of the past. This exuberant tale of nature, human ingenuity, and the pleasure of making things by hand chronicles how the urge to understand and appreciate trees still runs through us all like grain through wood.
In O'Nights, Cecily Parks constructs stunning manifestations of a modern Thoreauvian wilderness, investigating how the natural world gives shape to the self, body, and emotions. These lyrical, transcendental poems study the duality of nature's feminine and masculine identities, and in its simplicity, offers a space where humankind truly belongs.
This progress, as in the wind-scalloped snowmeadow
pretending to be moon. This love that sets us scrambling
over the map's last ridge, our red hoods bright
in shrunken sky. This metallic weather in which we
are the ore. This alder. These crimson-tipped willows
reverberating next to a river of turquoise ice. This
following the deep tracks of one coyote stepping
where another has stepped. This wilderness
that we trespass, burning like berries in the juniper
and becoming the air in the belfry.
Cecily Parks is the author of the chapbook Cold Work (Poetry Society of America, 2005) and the collection Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award and the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Orion, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• Nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and the 2011 Hilary Weston Writer's Trust Award.
During Charlotte Gill’s 20 years working as a tree planter she encountered hundreds of clear-cuts, each one a collision site between human civilization and the natural world, a complicated landscape presenting geographic evidence of our appetites. Charged with sowing the new forest in these clear-cuts, tree planters are a tribe caught between the stumps and the virgin timber, between environmentalists and loggers.
In Eating Dirt, Gill offers up a slice of tree-planting life in all of its soggy, gritty exuberance while questioning the ability of conifer plantations to replace original forests, which evolved over millennia into intricate, complex ecosystems. Among other topics, she also touches on the boom-and-bust history of logging and the versatility of wood, from which we have devised countless creations as diverse as textiles and airplane parts. She also eloquently evokes the wonder of trees, our slowest-growing “renewable” resource and joyously celebrates the priceless value of forests and the ancient, ever-changing relationship between humans and trees.
There are redwoods in California that were ancient by the time Columbus first landed, and pines still alive that germinated around the time humans invented writing. There are Douglas firs as tall as skyscrapers, and a banyan tree in Calcutta as big as a football field.
From the tallest to the smallest, trees inspire wonder in all of us, and in The Tree, Colin Tudge travels around the world—throughout the United States, the Costa Rican rain forest, Panama and Brazil, India, New Zealand, China, and most of Europe—bringing to life stories and facts about the trees around us: how they grow old, how they eat and reproduce, how they talk to one another (and they do), and why they came to exist in the first place. He considers the pitfalls of being tall; the things that trees produce, from nuts and rubber to wood; and even the complicated debt that we as humans owe them.
Tudge takes us to the Amazon in flood, when the water is deep enough to submerge the forest entirely and fish feed on fruit while river dolphins race through the canopy. He explains the “memory” of a tree: how those that have been shaken by wind grow thicker and sturdier, while those attacked by pests grow smaller leaves the following year; and reveals how it is that the same trees found in the United States are also native to China (but not Europe).
From tiny saplings to centuries-old redwoods and desert palms, from the backyards of the American heartland to the rain forests of the Amazon and the bamboo forests, Colin Tudge takes the reader on a journey through history and illuminates our ever-present but often ignored companions.
‘One of the publishing sensations of the year ... For anyone who has ever felt a little overwhelmed in a big city, or wanted to step out of the rat race for an hour or two, Jack Cooke will be something of an inspiration.’ – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
A wonderful cocktail of engaging writing, beautiful illustration and heartfelt appreciation for the natural world. An essential oddity for any book collection.
In this charming, witty and exquisitely illustrated companion, Jack Cooke explores the city through its canopy; teetering on the edge of an oak’s branches, scurrying up a Scots pine, spying views from the treetops that few have ever had the chance to see. He takes us through the parks, over the canals and rivers and into secret gardens on his journey sometimes only ten foot above the street.
Part guidebook, part meditation on the consolations of nature, The Tree Climber’s Guide is as uniquely odd, alluring and motley as the trees themselves. It is a journey into the tangle of bark and branches that surround us all and a welcome reminder that the best things in life are free – they just sometimes require a step in the right direction.
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?
Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
──《科學畫報》（Bild der Wissenschaft）
──《新奧斯納布呂克報》（Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung）
Meuninck moves the user from simple and familiar plants toward less common plants more difficult to identify. Each of the 122 plants has a color photograph, plant description, and location. Identification of plants are grouped from common to rare in the environment and where they are found: prairies, woodlands, mountains, deserts, and wetlands.
Relevant facts about each plant such as toxicity, historical uses, modern uses, as well as wildlife/veterinary uses are also listed. Additional information included in this extraordinary field guide: explanations of how each plant affects the human body; cultural and ethnic uses of medicinal herbs and cooking spices; others creatures who consume the plants; a list of most recommended garden herbs; web site resources, and much more.
The Author's Notes provide personal experiences and novel skills honed from over forty years of experience. They include: gardening tips, recipes, formulations, humor, successful experiences, and more.
There is no field guide as all-encompassing and detailed as this one, yet it's portable and easy to understand.
The beetle didn't act alone. Misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy, and a hundred years of fire suppression created a volatile geography that released the world's oldest forest manager from all natural constraints. Like most human empires, the beetles exploded wildly and then crashed, leaving in their wake grieving landowners, humbled scientists, hungry animals, and altered watersheds. Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly set the table. With little warning, an ancient insect pointedly exposed the frailty of seemingly stable manmade landscapes.
Drawing on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, investigates this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds.
Full-color photo keys allow the reader to rapidly preview plants found within each of the 21 major plant communities described, and the illustrated species description for each of the 340 featured plants includes fascinating information about the ecology and natural history of each plant in its larger environment. With this new format, readers can see how the mountain and piedmont landscapes form a mosaic of plant communities that harbor particular groups of plants. The volume also includes a glossary, illustrations of plant structures, and descriptions of sites to visit. Whether you're a beginning naturalist or an expert botanist, this guidebook is a useful companion on field excursions and wildflower walks, as well as a valuable reference.
Southern Gateways Guide is a registered trademark of the University of North Carolina Press
This is the perfect pocket guide for nature enthusiasts keen to identify the most commonly seen trees, whether they are out on the town or strolling through the countryside.
Authoritative text, beautiful photographs and detailed illustrations show not only the overall shape of the tree but also details of leaf shape, flowers, fruits and bark.
Features both deciduous and evergreen species, with information on the origin of each species, its height, preferred habitat and growing conditions. Illustrations of cones, catkins, nuts and fruits allow you to distinguish between similar species at a glance.
This new edition builds on the strengths of the best-selling, unrivalled original, now expanded to include over 220 trees and shrubs that are native to or flourish in Britain and northern Europe.
Here you'll learn about everything from how a species was discovered to the part it played in our country’s history. Pioneers often stabled an animal in the hollow heart of an old sycamore, and the whole family might live there until they could build a log cabin. The tuliptree, the tallest native hardwood, is easier to work than most softwood trees; Daniel Boone carved a sixty-foot canoe from one tree to carry his family from Kentucky into Spanish territory. In the days before the Revolution, the British and the colonists waged an undeclared war over New England's white pines, which made the best tall masts for fighting ships.
It's fascinating to learn about the commercial uses of various woods -- for paper, fine furniture, fence posts, matchsticks, house framing, airplane wings, and dozens of other preplastic uses. But we cannot read this book without the occasional lump in our throats. The American elm was still alive when Peattie wrote, but as we read his account today we can see what caused its demise. Audubon's portrait of a pair of loving passenger pigeons in an American beech is considered by many to be his greatest painting. It certainly touched the poet in Donald Culross Peattie as he depicted the extinction of the passenger pigeon when the beech forest was destroyed.
A Natural History of North American Trees gives us a picture of life in America from its earliest days to the middle of the last century. The information is always interesting, though often heartbreaking. While Peattie looks for the better side of man's nature, he reports sorrowfully on the greed and waste that have doomed so much of America's virgin forest.