Are you busy decking the halls with boughs of Holly this festive season? If so, you might wonder just why the prickliest of all of the evergreen trees has become one of the most popular at this time of year. And has it really been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth?
If you have a love of trees, “The Long, Long Life of Trees” by Fiona Stafford, recently acquired by the library, is the book for you. Holly has indeed been around for one hundred million years. The author believes that it is partly due to its resilience that has led to it being used in festivals held at this time of year for centuries.
This is just one of many facts, links to literature, history, health benefits, and quirky stories relating to trees discussed by the author. She takes 17 different species of tree and weaves interesting tales around them. One of the most moving is that of that Horse Chestnut tree which Anne Frank saw from her annexe window and described in her diary. The tree is no longer there but its saplings grow all around the world in her memory.
Stafford’s personal connection to trees shines through in this book. The illustrations and woodcuts chosen by the author further enhance the work. She notes how winter is the best time to study the beautiful shapes of trees and to discover the birds’ nests from the summer hidden among them. We hope that you have time, as the year ends, to have some winter walks and enjoy the peace and beauty of trees.
You can find further details of The Long, Long life of Trees on our Main Catalogue.
(Photo credit: Yale University Press)
Cover features a woodcut image of an oak tree with acorns and a bird in its branches. Below the tree is a woodcutter sawing a branch and a woman behind working on the land. The tree is black and the background is green.