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Book Review: Seeing Trees

Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees
by Nancy Ross Hugo and Robert Llewellyn (Photographer)


242 pages
Timber Press, 2011
List price: $29.95

Trivia buffs love books that take an ordinary subject and reveal extraordinary tidbits of fascinating information about their subjects. In reality, nearly everyone loves trivia because it appeals to that part of us that loves adventure. It’s the revealing of the unexpected that gives us a little bit of a thrill and tickles the pleasure center of our brains.

So what about the trees that we pass on our neighborhood walk or drive past on our way to work? You know the ones – the maples, oaks, walnuts, and pines. So plentiful and common, we take them for granted and barely give them notice most of the time. If you grow trees or simply enjoy them, you’ll find the uncommon insights shared about ten common trees in Seeing Trees utterly fascinating.

Emerging American beech leaves stretch free of their golden bud scales.

Seeing Trees takes a look at the unique ways trees develop, how leaves and buds form, and the beauty of their distinct barks, among other things. The photography of Robert Llewellyn brings the descriptions to life and complements the text perfectly.

Each tree is a botanical masterpiece, only fully appreciated by giving them close inspection, and Seeing Trees helps you do just that, making it an interactive book of the best kind. Your next walk in the woods won't be the same.

Nancy Ross Hugo has been writing, lecturing, and teaching about trees, native plants, and floral design for over 30 years. Her writing has appeared in Horticulture, Fine Gardening, American Forests, Country Journal, Virginia Living, and Country Life. Nancy and her husband, John, live in Virginia.

Robert Llewellyn has been photographing trees and landscapes for almost forty years. His photographs have been featured in major art exhibits, and more than thirty books featuring his photography are in print. He and his wife, Bobbi, live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

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