The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter by Colin Tudge
Three Rivers Press, New York, 2005
I own this one.
I have a thing about trees. I climbed them as a child and wanted to live in one particular Dogwood that stood outside my bedroom window. I can’t help touching them when I walk by them. I sit under them, listening to them, almost becoming part of them. Once, in the Redwoods of California, I felt the redwoods were so angry at us humans that I had to leave, hanging my head in shame.
Weird, I know, but I feel like Colin Tudge and I would understand each other.
Colin Tudge has written a book that is wordy and at times it grew tedious. It includes so much information about trees that I had to take it in small bits. I am still reading about our future with trees if, in fact, we have one. It is a book I will keep close at hand.
Tudge covers what trees are, the kinds of plants they evolved from and how scientists attempt to differentiate species. His approach is deeply scientific but also reverent in a way that is spiritual. I understand this, and appreciate it. Humans would not be here without these amazingly diverse and important members of the living world. We must learn to value their presence instead of considering them just an economic resource or something that stands in the way of agriculture or development.