A captivatingly informative and visually beautiful survey of the tree species – from all over the world – that human cultures have found most useful.
Each tree species is the subject of a concise text centred on a story – or stories – about the tree in question, and is depicted by means of a photograph, painting or other aesthetic artefact. The species will be organized thematically according to the virtues they impart, be that in the form of timber, nuts, fruit or medicine. The bloodwood tree, a native of central America, is a tree that made a nation. Its wood produces a brilliant and lucrative bright red dye and was imported to Europe for use in dyeing fabrics. The 17th and 18th-century logging camps established by the British later became the modern nation of Belize, and the bloodwood tree appears on its national flag.
From the bloodwood to the breadfruit and from the cinchona to the peach, these are trees that offer not merely shelter, timber and fuel but also medicines, dyes, foods and fibres. They are very special trees, and Max Adams, author of The Wisdom of Trees, has a plethora of such fascinating stories to tell about them.