One of Britain's most highly regarded science writers looks at trees in exquisite, comprehensive detail: what they are, how they live, how they came ...Show synopsisOne of Britain's most highly regarded science writers looks at trees in exquisite, comprehensive detail: what they are, how they live, how they came into being, and the communities known as forests where they live.Hide synopsis
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This book seems very promising in the beginning. In fact the first third is very good, wherein Tudge explains the evolution of trees themselves and of different groups of trees. In the second part of the book, Tudge attempts to talk about every taxonomic group of trees. The problem is that his scope is too wide. There is not enough detail as he talks about each group. For instance, when talking about a particular group fo conifers, he refers to their "unique cones"---without saying what makes them unique. This lack of detail persists throughout the latter two-thirds of the book. There is not much to learn from this latter portion, and it is very disappointing when compared the first part.
The first part outlines the way trees are classified and named, a seemingly very dry subject, but Colin Tudge makes it almost exciting so one looks forward to to seeing what new wonders these amazing "Bushy Things with a Stick Up the Middle" will have managed to develop in various environments and locations all over the world as the continents drifted around over the hot magma of this old blue ball.
The remainder of the book treats the why, when, where and how of these almost silent giants and their tiny associates of fungi, insects and birds as they have conquered the world for their own benefit while providing the environmental changes that mothered the evolution of our own mankind and thousands of other species of animals and plants.
The author also gives a logical sounding rationale for the importance of trees in our and the world's future.
A delightful and rewarding book.
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