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I came across this book the other day and it really is a great read. It’s full of lots of very interesting facts about our native trees and is the perfect coffee table reference book.

Piers was a tree surgeon and obviously has a huge passion for trees, hence his writing this fascinating book. Not being an avid reader myself, the reason I loved this book was because it is short and to the point, but at the same time it covers so much. It really is the sort of book that is easy to dip in and out of.

It starts with a little history about native trees and the main uses for each wood from past to present. I certainly never knew that lime was used for piano parts, although this is now in decline. It then has some information on coppicing and charcoal production, both of which were prevalent many thousands of years ago, but perhaps now seeing a little resurgence.

There is then a pretty in depth look at firewood, once again looking at the history of wood burning, the environmental benefits, sources of wood and which species is regarded as the best to burn. He quotes the wonderful old poem ’Logs to Burn’ which gives a great overview, but he also provides his own overview of burning quality.

Then a very good insight into the seasoning of firewood, the best way to store it and even how to build a fire which surprisingly few people know how to do these days!

Finally, Piers takes a very detailed look at 21 of our native species and in each case he reviews the properties of each wood and the past and present uses and this gives a great insight with fascinating facts.

I'd recommend you pick up a copy, anyone interested can head over to Wild Eye and buy hardcopy or electronic .

N. Snell


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