The Global Forest

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A gorgeously-written exploration of the natural world and the peril of ignoring our disappearing forests

One of the world's experts on how trees chemically affect the environment, Canadian scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger is on a mission to save the planet- one newly planted tree at a time. In this new book, she skillfully weaves together ecology, ethnobotany, horticulture, spirituality, science, and alternative medicine to capture the magic spell that trees cast over us, from ...

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Overview

A gorgeously-written exploration of the natural world and the peril of ignoring our disappearing forests

One of the world's experts on how trees chemically affect the environment, Canadian scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger is on a mission to save the planet- one newly planted tree at a time. In this new book, she skillfully weaves together ecology, ethnobotany, horticulture, spirituality, science, and alternative medicine to capture the magic spell that trees cast over us, from their untapped ecological and pharmaceutical potential to the roles they have played in our cultural heritage. Trees not only breathe and communicate; they also reproduce, provide shelter, medicine, and food, and connect disparate elements of the natural world. In celebrating forests' function and beauty, Beresford-Kroeger warns what a deforested world would look like. Her revolutionary bioplan proposes how trees can be planted in urban and rural areas to promote health and counteract pollution and global warming, main­taining biodiversity in the face of climate change.

Presented in short interconnected essays, The Global Forest draws from ancient storytelling traditions to present an unforgettable work of natural history. Beresford-Kroeger is an imaginative thinker who writes with the precision of a scientist and the lyricism of a poet. Her indisputable passion for her subject matter will inspire readers to look at trees with newfound awe.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Beresford-Kroeger (Arboretum America) has concocted a strange brew: a collection of 40 essays, each no more than three pages, that explore the medicinal, ecological, nutritional, and mythic properties of trees. The author—a botanist, medical and agricultural researcher, and self-described "renegade scientist"—considers the invisible life of the forest and shows the myriad connections among humanity, forest, and everything else. She provides fascinating accounts of the micro processes of trees and makes intriguing arguments for using these "chemical factories" to healthy advantage. But her eclectic approach of moving to and fro between "hard" plant science and the "soft" tree lore finds curious expression in a language at times exact and other times murky. Also, the title is somewhat misleading because the emphasis is clearly on North American silva, and only a few species are discussed in depth. VERDICT At its best, this work resonates like lyric poetry; at its worst, it devolves into New Age twaddle. Beresford-Kroeger's work is sui generis; readers looking for tree lore might try Diana Wells's Lives of the Trees and for a global, more scientific treatment, Colin Tudge's The Tree.—Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670021741
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/13/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a botanist, researcher, and lecturer who is an expert on the medicinal, environmental, nutritional, and herbicidal properties of trees. Her previous books include Arboretum America and A Garden For Life. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and on NPR and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She is well-known for the sprawling gardens on her property in Ontario, Canada, which include more than one hundred types of trees.

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