The Fascinating Stories of the World’s Most Threatened Species
by Sara Oldfield; Malin Rivers
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Pub Date 21 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2023
Did you know that the resin of the dragon tree was so prized that it was used and traded as medicine by the Roman Empire? Or that the Bornean ironwood is one of the only timbers dense enough to sink in water? Trees have adapted to thrive on steep mountains, high in cloud forests, on dry savannahs, in parched deserts, and in tropical wetlands. Our own human history—and our future—are interwoven with the trees that define the character and environments of our green planet.
Rare Trees offers a stunning visual presentation of 60 of the most fascinating, bizarre, and threatened tree species on the planet, from conifers to magnolias to oaks. With color photographs showing trees and their most unusual features, maps of growing regions, callouts of memorable facts, and examples of poignant cultural and historical uses by Indigenous populations, Rare Trees will give everyone who loves trees an armchair tour of unique specimens from around the globe. You will be inspired to help preserve this critical canopy of life.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 28 members
What if I told you there was a way to reverse climate change, clean our air, create homes for endangered animals and beautify our planet all contained in one package? Trees are the lungs of our planet, and yet we’re cutting them down left and right, paving over forests to make way for roads or clearing them for pasture. Oldfield looks specifically at 60 of the most endangered species of trees on our planet, capturing their plight in words and beautiful photographs. A gorgeous, vitally important book
Rare Trees: The Fascinating Stories of the World’s Most Threatened Species by Sara Oldfield and Malin Rivers is truly a fascinating book. The first section discusses conservation and different ecosystems trees survive in. The photos are phenomenal and I like how the book was laid out; it makes it a lot more interesting than reading a textbook.
Then the books shifts to trees and their uses. This section was probably my favorite. Some items I was aware that came from trees, but it was learning where and how they retrieved these items that was entertaining.
The final section looks at specific species around the world. There are detailed sections discussing the species.
When I first requested this book, I didn’t realize the number of pages. I thought it would more about just the conservation of trees, but then I reached the breakdown of species and realized this book was a lot more in-depth than I first thought. I enjoyed learning about the threats to certain species, but was thinking this book is not so much for casual reading (maybe for some yes, but not for me from start to finish). It seems more for research purposes or specific look ups.
Thanks Netgalley and Timber Press for this ARC. This might be a good consideration for our nonfiction section. Especially with the current push for sustainable development goals and since our school is in China, many of these trees are in the region.
A wonderful book that is perfect for any lover of these wise and majestic beings. With informative and interesting descriptions and beautiful photographs, this is a lovely hardcopy gift for yourself or a tree-loving friend.
Thanks to Timber Press and NetGalley for my much-appreciated ARC.
This book was far more interesting and engaging than I expected it to be.
Chapter One discusses the different kinds of rainforests and the types of trees you might find in each one. I thought I had a decent understanding of the different kinds of forest ecosystems from my ecology classes but I still found a lot of new and interesting information in this chapter.
Chapter Two looks at the different uses for trees ranging from their medicinal uses to perfumes, food, timber, and even their ornamental and aesthetic uses. There were some uses that I was genuinely surprised by that have now left me with a greater interest in knowing just how trees, and plants in general, are used within industry.
Chaper Three was my favourite chapter. It's broken into the essential tree groups (ie Oak, Conifers, Palms etc) with each section showcasing several trees from that group.
The information in this book is comprehensive and concise and the accompanying photography is worthy of a coffee table book.
I especially appreciated the epilogue that had information on how the reader can help protect trees and their ecosystems.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me a free digital copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.
Exceptional read! Amazing photos! Plethora of facts on trees: their origins, their characteristics, their level of threat and much, much more.
A great gift idea or a gift to yourself to dress your coffee table.
Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for this e-ARC in exchange of my honest review.
As a tree lover, I was absolutely in awe with every page of this book!! I The science, the history, the photographs...it was all stunning! I loved the depth of detail shared l and I've been sharing what I've learned!
Thank you Net Galley for the advanced reader copy of this fascinating compilation!
An amazing reference and guide of rare trees that produce medicines, poisons, spices, and might even be present in your own garden. This book is great for nature lovers and world builders, looking to expand and diversify their worlds with different forests and greenery.
I was very excited to get an ARC of this book -- I love trees and was hoping for something that would have beautiful pictures and clear, concise information about the subject. This book is like an encyclopedia with National Geographic quality photos -- very informative and educational. I would recommend this to adults and children alike -- it will make a wonderful coffee table book. I was very impressed that there was a one-page list of recommended steps that readers could take to help trees at the end which even included reducing meat and dairy consumption! Gorgeous book - can't wait to see it in print.
A thorough reference book with gorgeous photos. This book provides a look at ways we can all contribute to the preservation of trees threatened predominantly by human activity and climate change.
What an extensive and rare work! This book is overwhelming in its scope. Strong images with details that takes the reader on a worldwide journey of the stresses and successful attempts to revitalize tree regions. Explore your own environment and discover what you can do to help. A must view.
This is honestly the saddest and most terrifying book I have ever read. And that´s because it makes you fully realize the scale of destruction we humans have done and continue doing to our surroundings.
This book is incredibly informative without being boring, which is very rare in non-fiction genre, especially when the reader has no background in the field whatsoever. It explains plainly why it´s important to save what we have left and the interactions between particular little systems, that most of us probably don't even know to exist and why they are vital to our existence. It tells stories about trees and shrubs I have never heard about. And how we go and kill everything on our path until we will effectively kill ourselves. Because we will.
This book is not as depressing as you might think thanks to my awesome review. It´s just that I happen to be oversensitive to nature matters and tend to shout at maintenance workers when they prune trees.
Anyway, trust me when I say you must read this book and share it with your family, friends, neighbours and donate at least a dozen to every school library on this planet. Seriously.
For anyone that enjoys flipping through Coffeetable books that give them some Informations and beautiful Pictures!
Would make a stunning Gift, for others or yourself!
"Rare Trees" is an interesting description of trees and their unusual uses that we don't often hear about. Well-written in a slightly textbook style, the design of the book is modern with beautiful illustrations and colored sidebars. The book will hold your interest as its emphasis on conservation is important for everyone who cares about saving our planet and the many species that face extinction. It never ceases to astound me that humans are just now beginning to understand how very connected are all living things whether people, animals, plants, or tiny microbes that haven't even been discovered yet. Please read this book and donate a copy to your local library. Thank you.
I’ve always been a little obsessed with learning all I can about trees — Suzanne Simard is one of my idols — so I jumped at the chance to read this book.
From sweetgum to cinnamon, Rare Trees dedicates its pages to rare tree species found across the world; breaking down their origins and uses, as well as identifying standing threats to the ecosystems that house them. The information is shared in an easily digestible format which makes the content informative but light. Plus, the photography included is nothing short of stunning.
You will marvel at the incredible backstories behind tree species you’ve never even heard of — but quickly find yourself enchanted with. You will lose yourself in the collection of images that pop in color and vibrancy and meaning. And you will walk away from this feeling all the richer — in knowledge and in spirit.
This book is lovingly-crafted. It is both a guide to unusual trees that calls to the curious and a source of insight into the beating hearts of every forest. In Rare Trees, Sara Oldfield and Malin Rivers give us something truly special.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
A beautiful scientific love letter about trees and how they protect and beautify our world. I would have liked more full page spread photos of trees, but other than that a very educational treatise on why we need to become passionate protectors of trees if we want to preserve our own lives.
This book is a complete, stunningly beautiful, resource of well researched information about thousands of types of trees. The title made me think this was going to be stories about individual rare trees, instead it was a complete explanation of trees around the world, their struggle to survive and efforts being put into place to save them. While I confess, I did not read the book from cover to cover, I did look at the hundred of beautiful photos of trees around the world and read the interesting facts and quotes that the author spread throughout the book as captions. The book has a complete index which makes looking up an individual species of tree quick and easy.
I could see this book being used as a valuable resource in college classes about botany. I will purchase this book for my son who is a forester. For anyone who wants to have a vast tree resource at their fingertips, Rare Trees would make a unique coffee table book.
This book was very well done. I learned so much about different species, what part of the world they are native to, and efforts ongoing to protect and bring back these trees. It told us which woods were/are used by peoples native to the areas where they originated. The author includes uses throughout the world for specific woods, such as medication, essential oils, musical instruments and more. As someone who uses essential oils, I will be much more conscious of which oils come from endangered or at risk trees, and stay away from those. Lots of color photos are included from many different countries. I thought they did a good job of keeping the info easily understood, for those of us not in the scientific fields. I want to thank Netgalley for the chance to read this ARC, and definitely feel it's a book people will enjoy!
This has been a delightful book to dabble in every so often. It is informative and engaging, and I have best enjoyed it by reading small chunks rather than as a read-through.
This is an absolutely beautiful book. It is full of interesting information about ecology, trees in general, and rare and endangered trees. All of the information and types of trees are divided into chapters.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters about the various types of trees. An easy to access sidebar is provided for each species with includes a map, native range, and other quick references. A more thorough discussion follows. The organization of this book makes it simple for people to find the species and categories of trees that are of interest.
The reader does not have to be a botanist to appreciate this book. The language is readable but still provides relevant information.
This book is illustrated with beautiful photographs of trees, their flowers, landscapes, and other related material. It would make an excellent addition to any nature-lover's collection.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I picked up “Rare Trees”, by Sara Oldfield and Malin Rivers, as I love learning about unusual trees and trees in general. I didn’t immediately pick up, from the back cover copy, that the defining feature of this book is it highlights trees which are threatened. It looks at each tree, why it matters to its ecosystem and what is negatively impacting its survival and what is being done to stop it disappearing.
It is fascinating, well-written and also saddening. One cannot read it and not feel called to do more to protect our natural world and especially these beautiful trees! The photos are gorgeous and add a visual representation of what we are seeking to preserve!
If you have a passion for environmental activism or want to understand what is at risk, this one is for you! It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Timber Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This book would be an ideal gift or recommendation for someone who has an interest in forestry, nature, or just a lover of green living things. This book is broken up into 2 sections, the first covers the value of forests made up of trees.; the second covers the trees by variety. The pictures are stunning however this is an information-rich text and will not be of huge interest to the casual reader. Recommended for libraries with strong environmental and nature collections or for the naturalist who enjoys a tromp through the woods.
This review was originally published on NetGalley.com. I was given an ebook freely by NetGalley and the book’s publisher in return for a voluntary and honest review.
By Sara Oldfield and Malin Rivers
This is a beautiful book. Part coffee table book, part reference book. Sara Oldfield and Malin Rivers divide their book into three chapters; the Trees and their Ecosystems, Trees and Their Uses and Special Tree Groups. In the introduction they speak plainly about our great need for healthy and protected forests.
In Trees and Their Ecosystems Oldfield and Rivers go into great detail about rainforest, cloud forests, dry forests, boreal forests and islands. They break down clearly each type of ecosystem and where they can be found in the world, what benefits they give us and what their relationship is to other plants, animals and humans in that Ecosystem. They also detail the issues threatening each ecosystem and how we can make a difference.
In Trees and Their Uses Oldfield and Rivers show the many uses trees provide. Medicine, poison, perfumes, wood, food and beauty. In Tree Groups Oldfield and Rivers break the trees into their subspecies, Conifers, Magnolias, Ashes, Oaks, Dipterocarps, Palms, and Sapotaceae. Then they list individual trees found within the subspecies. With each tree we learn how endangered they are based on a scale, their natural range, preferred habitat and treats.
Lastly I just want to say the photography is stunning. If you’ve ever marveled at the grandeur of trees this book is for you.
If you like the podcast In Defense of Plants, read this book. It has lovely descriptions so many trees and their conservation stories, and seems to be very up-to-date. However, this is not a beginner tree book, and probably not great to read straight through if you're not already excited about trees. The text is denser than it looks, and there are a solid 400 pages of tree. Also it uses Tertiary instead of Paleogene/Neogene, but that's more of a personal preference thing. This would be a wonderful coffee table book in any nature enthusiast's living room.
4.5/5 Thank you to Net Galley and Timber Press for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
The title and subtitle really say it all. There are so many fascinating facts in this book. For a non-fiction book, it was still captivating. I love that the authors went through each tree species with a little map of its endemic area and gorgeous pictures. I learned so much! There is also a lot of information about what the average person can do to preserve these majestic, threatened species.
This is a wonderful book that any nature or tree lover would enjoy. The photographs are amazing and those alone make this an incredibly compelling book, but the attention to detail in describing the "why" for this book and why the reader should care about these trees is really great. The book is much more in-depth (and much longer!) than I had originally expected, but it was a wonderful surprise. Even as someone who grew up in and works in arboriculture, I still learned quite a bit from this book. Rare Trees is truly an exceptional - and beautiful - book.
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