This is a review of 'The Greenwood Trees - History, Folklore and uses of Britain's trees' by Christina Hart-Davies - a slim volume that is essentially about the native trees of the UK.
By the time I got to the end I realised that the book she has written and illustrated reminded me a lot of many of the early Herbals - which describe and identify plants - including illustrations - and identify what they are associated with and what they are used for. Both her previous book and this one are focused on telling you what a plant/tree is good for as well as what it looked like. It goes way, way beyond a book of botanical illustrations
It is in effect a contemporary version of what we refer to in botanical literature as Herbals. It is packed full of information and illustrations about the different native trees. What's more Christina has written all the text, which references facts and beliefs from very many of the books from the past - from Dioscorides onwards - and painted all the illustrations in watercolour
Overall, the book is enormously informative, very interesting and very accessible - it and can be enjoyed by young and old, by those interested in nature and trees and by those interested in different ways of representing and painting trees.
For example it includes snippets of information e.g.
Who knew the aspen was one of the earliest trees to re-colonise the UK after the Ice Age?
The book covers 37 different varieties of tree, of which 31 are natives of the UK i.e. they were around 6,000 years BC when the waters started to rise again after the Ice Age.
The book has five sections:
About "The Greenwood Trees"
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