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The Tree Collectors

The Tree Collectors: Tales of Arboreal Obsession

Amy Stewart

When Amy Stewart discovered a community of tree collectors, she expected to meet horticultural fanatics driven to plant every species of oak or maple. But she also discovered that the urge to collect trees springs from deeper, more profound motives, such as a longing for community, a vision for the future, or a path to healing and reconciliation.

In this slyly humorous, informative, often poignant volume, Stewart brings us fifty captivating stories of people who spend their lives in pursuit of rare and wonderful trees and are transformed in the process. Vivian Keh has forged a connection to her Korean elders through her persimmon orchard. The former poet laureate W. S. Merwin planted a tree almost every day for more than three decades, until he had turned a barren estate into a palm sanctuary. And Joe Hamilton cultivates pines on land passed down to him by his once-enslaved great-grandfather, building a legacy for the future.

Stewart populates this lively compendium with her own watercolour portraits of these extraordinary people and their trees, side trips to investigate famous tree collections, arboreal glossaries, and even tips for ‘unauthorised’ forestry. This book is a stunning tribute to a devoted group of nature lovers making their lives—and the world—more beautiful, one tree at a time.

Amy Stewart
About the Author

Amy Stewart is the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, and several other popular nonfiction titles about the natural world. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Text publication date:
16 July 2024
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Praise for Amy Stewart
andThe Tree Collectors

‘A beautiful mix of love letters to trees and practical tree facts. Amy Stewart is as curious about people as she is about trees.’

‘I love everything Amy Stewart has ever created, but this book is my favourite yet. I’m giving this book to everyone I know. Because it, like its subject, is a gift.’

‘These mesmerising trees, and the inspiring people they’ve transformed, will alter your perspective and give you hope.’

‘A whirlwind planetary journey into the wondrously entangled lives of people and plants… Amy Stewart shows us how we are all related to one another, through trees.’

‘Blue gum eucalyptus, maples, ginkgoes, mangos, flowering cherries…With graceful prose and tender watercolours, Amy Stewart’s arboreal global tour explores the fragility and resilience of Earth’s great canopy and ushers readers into the hidden groves and lush forests where the world’s most dedicated gardeners plant the landscape of the future.’

‘Like the brushstrokes in the fine paintings alongside them, Stewart’s vignettes add up to something more: a powerful portrait of the human passion for plants and a paean to what the plants give back.’

‘A delightfully offbeat book about a group of people as diverse as the specimens they collect, The Tree Collectors will take root in your consciousness and nurture your soul.’

‘Reading this feels like sitting down and having the best kind of coffee date with one fascinating person after another.’

‘A warm and brilliant mural of life that tells a larger story about humanity: our desires, our losses, our salvation, and our place on a beautiful living planet during a time of immense challenges.’

Other editions ofThe Tree Collectors
  • The Tree Collectors
    ISBN: 9781923059139
    16 July 2024
    Buy ebook