• Title: The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter
  • Author: Colin Tudge
  • Released: 2006-10-03
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 480
  • ISBN: 1400050367
  • ISBN13: 978-1400050369
  • ASIN: 1400050367
From Publishers Weekly In an elegant tribute to denizens of nature that humans too often take for granted, British biologist Tudge (The Famine Business) presents a wealth of intriguing facts about trees. Basing his information on science and writing "in a spirit of reverence," he explains how biologists identify the different kinds of trees; how trees have evolved over millions of years; how they adapt to their habitats, survive and reproduce. Describing a multitude of species, Tudge emphasizes the distinctive characteristics of each. He marvels, for example, at banyans with their roots hanging down from their branches, palms whose roots grow directly from their trunks, mangroves standing with their roots in the sea, baobabs holding so much water in their swollen trunks that they are extremely resistant to drought, figs in partnership with the minute wasps that pollinate them—"one dedicated species of wasp for each of the 750 species of fig." Tudge concludes with a chapter emphasizing the importance of all types of trees for humankind's well-being—a persuasive call to action for the preservation of the environment so that trees, and humans, can survive. 33 exquisite line drawings. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From *Starred Review* British biologist and science-writer-extraordinaire Tudge offers a sumptuously specific tour of the phenomenal world of trees. Earth's longest-lived sentinels, trees serve as the planet's lungs, organic metropolises for wildly diverse species, and the source of food, medicine, our most versatile building material, and a large quotient of nature's most majestic beauty. After tracking the slow evolution of plant life from "metabolizing slime" to trees attaining gravity-defying heights, Tudge declares that trees are engineering marvels and that "wood is one of the wonders of the universe." He is equally in awe over the astonishing variety of forms trees achieve around the globe, and precisely describes them, from oaks to baobabs to the mighty kauri. "Without trees, our species would not have come into being at all," declares Tudge, and now in this time of global warming, trees are key to our survival. Tudge's explanation of how climate change will endanger trees is invaluable. Along with Wangari Maathai, founder of Kenya's Green Belt Movement (see Unbowed, p.29), Tudge shares knowledge and issues a call to action in this indispensable celebration of one of our most precious natural resources. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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