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A Natural History Of Western Trees

One of two genuine classics of American nature writing now in paperback; the other is A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America.

Paperback: 768 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reissue edition (June 29, 1991)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0395581753

ISBN-13: 978-0395581759

Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #959,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #214 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Trees #632 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Plants > Trees #927 in Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology > Natural History

In the same grand style as in his "A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America" the writer continues with unsurpassed stories on trees, in this case the trees of Western North America, where the greatest living trees on the world can be found. What can I add to this? [see also my review on "Eastern Trees"]It is a great pity Donald Culross Peattie was unable to follow through on his plan for a volume on Southern Trees. [For a few brief notes on the life and the untimely death of the writer see the afterword by his son Noel in the 1991 Indiana University Press reprint of "Flowering Earth"]

This is a great read. Lyrical, full of fascinating anecdotes and history, here is prose by a great naturalist writing at the top of his craft. Written for the layman and accessible to everyone as a fascinating window into a world of nature's largest and most successful organisms, this work takes pride of place on my bookshelf and I'm in the tree business. Here's just a snippet of what he says about the Valley Oak:" One of the outstanding characteristics of the Valley Oak groves is their open spaciousness. The trees almost invariably stand well apart from each other - held off, no doubt, by competition of their root systems in a wide search for water. Yet they are gregarious trees, almost never found out of sight of many of their fellows unless the axe and plow have intervened"Isn't that evocative? And that small taste hardly does the sweep of the book due credit. When I need to breath forest air and can't get away I pick up this book and start to read. Anyone who respects talented and passionate writing will cherish this book.

Peattie's writing style is everything that all the reviewers promised, and I went on to buy the Eastern book as well. I own and read many tree books, and this is one of only about three that I read for the quality of the prose. And it's good on trees! As Simon and Garfunkel might write, still inspiring, after all these years.

Donald Culross Peattie is a very observant and astute naturalist, who obviously loves each of the species of trees he writes about. The greatest strength of this wonderful book is Peattie's superb writing style itself. Highly recommended to every individual who wishes to understand all the nuances of trees.

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