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Cover for The Glory of the Tree

The Glory of the Tree

An Illustrated History

Noel Kingsbury, Andrea Jones (Photographer)


List Price: 39.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The great trees of the world in glorious color.

The Glory of the Tree describes 90 species of tree that collectively span the millennia of evolution and cross the globe. Organized into six categories -- Antiquity, Ecology, Sacred, Utility, Food and Ornament -- the trees are presented in short chapters that touch on botany, history, culture and more.

An inset box gives the basic characteristics of each tree: family and species, brief description, natural origin, size, potential age and climate. A stunning full-page photograph shows a prime specimen of the tree.

The Glory of the Tree celebrates 90 trees native to regions around the world, including these:

  • Antiquity: Ginkgo, Magnolia, Giant sequoia, Liquidamber, Quaking aspen, Tabaquillo
  • Ecology: Birch, Red maple, Mangrove, Longleaf pine, Eucalyptus, Black locust
  • Sacred: Monkey puzzle, Camphor, American elm (the Liberty Tree), Banyan, Cedar of Lebanon
  • Utility: Sycamore, Cork oak, Sugar maple, Ebony, Rubber, Calabash
  • Food: Toddy palm, Date palm, Pecan, Mango, Clove, Indian Jujube
  • Ornament: Lombardy poplar, Mimosa, Handkerchief tree, Japanese Maple, Pagoda, Leyland cypress.

Beyond a glance, how much thought do we give any one tree? Do we know the species' history, what makes it unique, or even why we should care? Do we know that dinosaurs grazed on magnolia blossoms? That only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was it learned that North America's homegrown apple, Malus domestica, originated in the fruit forests of Russia? Or that male black mulberry flowers eject pollen at 350 miles per hour -- half the speed of sound, and the fastest movement in the plant kingdom?

The Glory of the Tree reveals all this and much more, in full color. It is a choice selection for arborists, gardeners, tree lovers (and huggers), and all who appreciate the beauty of nature.

Firefly Books, 9781770852655, 288pp.

Publication Date: November 4, 2014

About the Author

Dr. Noel Kingsbury is recognized internationally through his many books and journalism as a leading innovator in horticulture, landscape, planting design and plant ecology. His recent books include Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls. He lives in Wales. Andrea Jones is one of the world's foremost garden photographers. Her work has appeared in Guardian Weekend, Daily Telegraph, Gardens Illustrated, BBC Gardeners' World, House and Garden, and Country Living. She lives in Scotland, and has had several successful solo exhibitions in the UK and the United States.