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To celebrate this year's World Books Day, we thought we'd take you into the wonderful world of trees and have a look at some of our favourite books. I will not shy away from the fact that I find trees fascinating, having lived abroad in Canada and become a tour guide through the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer. We saw plenty of wildlife but it was trees that were the only guarantee. It was my mission to get the guests onboard to share my new appreciation for the trees.

I think we have all seen nature in a new light during the lockdown and found a new appreciation for everything. These books are not only a great escape but can expand our appreciation for trees as more than just objects. 


Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben

This is a book that helps you slow down and take a look at everything around you that you may have taken for granted before. Peter Wohlleben makes the case that trees are a social network in the ‘Wood Wide Web’. They, like us, have ways to communicate, support and nurture each other as well as warn each other of danger. 

Arguably that sounds like a fairy tale to many of us but it draws on misunderstood plant science and in a very readable way, shows us a different way of looking at trees. If you are interested in the symbiotic relationships that nature present to us you will enjoy this book. You definitely don’t need to be a tree hugger to enjoy it.

"Plants communicating by means of sound waves? That makes me curious to know more because people also communicate using sound waves. Might this be a key to getting to know trees better? To say nothing of what it would mean if we could hear whether all was well with beeches, oaks, and pines, or whether something was up. Unfortunately, we are not that far advanced, and research in this field is just beginning. But if you hear a light crackling the next time you take a walk in the forest, perhaps it won't be just the wind..."


To speak for the trees - Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Diana is a world-renowned botanist and medical biochemist. Brought up in Ireland she has proud Celtic roots and was taught the ways of the Celtic beliefs. the discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest; the fact that trees are a living library, have a chemical language and communicate and, perhaps most significantly, that planting trees can actively regulate the atmosphere and the oceans, and even stabilize our climate. 

We are all woodland people. Like trees, we hold a genetic memory of the past because trees are parents to the child deep within us. We feel that shared history come alive every time we step into the forest, where the majesty of nature calls to us in a voice beyond our imagination” 


The overstory - Richard Powers

This is a beautiful story of an artist who receives a hundred years worth of photographic portraits, all of the same American Chestnut tree and follows the story of a number of different strangers summoned in different ways to the natural world who are brought together to save it. It is beautifully written with the structure of the book itself being like a tree with roots, trunk and crown. 

“Trees know when we are close by. The chemistry of their roots and the perfumes of their leaves pump out change when we're near...when you feel good after a walk in the woods, it may be that certain species are bribing you”

Golden Spruce - John Vaillant

The Golden spruce was a Sitka spruce tree that was considered sacred by the Haida People. This story tells the story of this sacred tree, a logger turned environmentalist and a shocking act of environmental protest in the forests of British Columbia. This is a wonderfully complex book which I really recommend reading. It may leave you asking more questions than are answered.

“It is an environment perfectly designed to support life on a grand scale, including the biggest freestanding creatures on earth. All of the dominant west coast species - redwoods, sequoia, sugar pine, hemlock, western Fir...and Sitka Spruce are the giants of their kind. It is due in large part to these immense trees that the Northwest forests support more living tissue…. Than any other ecosystem.”

Let us know if you have any recommendations over on our Instagram @certainlywood 


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