New book pays tribute to humans’ vital relationship with 17 kinds of trees
The Long, Long Life of Trees
Yale Univ., $30
Trees do much more than slurp carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and release life-sustaining oxygen: They provide fruit, nuts and other foods, as well as the raw materials for everything from fence posts to pharmaceuticals. And they’ve inspired poets and mythmakers, among many others. Buddha found enlightenment under a tree; so did Isaac Newton.
In The Long, Long Life of Trees, Fiona Stafford — an author, radio host and University of Oxford literature professor — explores the science and symbology of 17 common trees. Her list includes familiar species, such as apple and oak, as well as lesser-known trees, such as hawthorn and horse chestnut.