For about 300 million years trees have played a central role in providing the conditions in which life on Earth has flourished - and for millennia these treasured plants have enthralled, nourished and inspired humankind, with whom they have coexisted in an intimate relationship that has been highly practical (fuel, food, healing preparations and building material) as well as culturally and spiritually rich. This book is divided into five parts: Green Jewels, Thousands of Species, A Fragile Benefactor, Of Trees and Humans, and A Source of Inspiration. Each part focuses on a different aspect of the world of trees, from a fascinating and fact-packed account of their natural history (half a hectare of trees absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide as that emitted by a car travelling for 10,000 miles/16,000km) to the enormous influence they have had in human culture, from mythology and religion to a rich and enduring symbolism throughout history. Trees is a beautifully illustrated celebration of these awe-inspiring gifts of nature, which Ralph Waldo Emerson was moved to describe as 'the best friend of man'.
For all those who love trees this superb book offers a rare chance to enjoy their beauty and to learn a great deal more about what makes them so special.
Pierre Lieutaghi is a writer and ethnobotanist who lives in Provence, southern France. Involved with the Natural History Museum (Paris) and the Mediterranean and Comparative Institute of Ethnology (Aix-en-Provence), he has written more than a dozen books and many articles about the relationships between plants and humankind. He helped to create the ethnobotanical gardens of Salagon in Mane (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).