How to Read a Tree: Clues and Patterns from Bark to Leaves (Natural Navigation) (Hardcover)
Trees are keen to tell us so much. They’ll tell us about the land, the water, the people, the animals, the weather, and time. And they will tell us about their lives, the good bits and bad. Trees tell a story, but only to those who know how to read it.
In How to Read a Tree, Gooley uncovers the clues hiding in plain sight: in a tree’s branches and leaves; its bark, buds, and flowers; even its stump. Leaves with a pale, central streak mean that water is nearby. Young, low-growing branches show that a tree is struggling. And reddish or purple bark signals new growth.
Like snowflakes, no two trees are exactly the same. Every difference reveals the epic story this tree has lived—if we stop to look closely.
Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller
“An important book and a pleasure to read.”—Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path
“Gooley interprets clues like a private investigator of the wilds. . . . For those inclined to solve mysteries written into the landscape, this author’s lead is one they’ll want to follow.”—The Wall Street Journal
“How To Read A Tree is so packed with information . . . it will undoubtedly leave you with a deeper appreciation of trees. . . . Your country walks will never be quite the same again.”—Daily Mail
“You will never look at a tree in the same way again after reading this mesmerizing book. Gooley drops learning as lightly as a blossom falls in spring.”—John Lewis-Stempel, author of The Wood
“Tristan Gooley has done trees the greatest service. In this gentle, enchanting book he leads us into their language—how to spot their natural tendencies and individual foibles, and to recognize their responses to stress and ingenious strategies to survive. And with these insights he arouses an even deeper affection and concern for trees—our friends and allies, with whose fate our own is inextricably bound.”—Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
“Wherever you are—city or wilderness—if you want to understand the secrets of trees you pass, this is the book to read...Tristan has the rare gift of explaining the most complex ideas with humour and deep insight.”—Peter Thomas, author of Trees
“It was a lightbulb moment! I thought I knew my local woods—I walk there almost every day. But it’s a thrill to see it through fresh eyes, to develop a much deeper understanding.”—Peter Gibbs, Chair BBC Gardeners’ Question Time
“How to Read a Tree builds on the joy that we take in trees—with some handy facts to go alongside that joy.”—BBC Radio 4
“Trees can reveal fascinating secrets . . . This book will add a new dimension to your next countryside stroll.”—Wanderlust