The Tree Collectors: Tales of Arboreal Obsession (Hardcover)

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Fifty vignettes of remarkable people whose lives have been transformed by their obsessive passion for trees—written and charmingly illustrated by the New York Times bestselling author of The Drunken Botanist

“I love everything Amy Stewart has ever created, but this book is my favorite yet. I’m giving this book to everyone I know. Because it, like its subject, is a gift.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love

When Amy Stewart discovered a community of tree collectors, she expected to meet horticultural fanatics driven to plant every species of oak or maple. But she also discovered that the urge to collect trees springs from something deeper and more profound: a longing for community, a vision for the future, or a path to healing and reconciliation. 

In this slyly humorous, informative, often poignant volume, Stewart brings us captivating stories of people who spend their lives in pursuit of rare and wonderful trees and are transformed in the process. Vivian Keh has forged a connection to her Korean elders through her persimmon orchard. The former poet laureate W. S. Merwin planted a tree almost every day for more than three decades, until he had turned a barren estate into a palm sanctuary. And Joe Hamilton cultivates pines on land passed down to him by his once-enslaved great-grandfather, building a legacy for the future.

Stewart populates this lively compendium with her own hand-drawn watercolor portraits of these extraordinary people and their trees, interspersed with side trips to investigate famous tree collections, arboreal glossaries, and even tips for “unauthorized” forestry. This book is a stunning tribute to a devoted group of nature lovers making their lives—and the world—more beautiful, one tree at a time.

About the Author

Amy Stewart is the New York Times bestselling author of The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, and several other popular nonfiction titles about the natural world. She’s also written seven novels in her beloved Kopp Sisters series, based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Praise For…

“After spending time [with The Tree Collectors], you’ll undoubtedly experience an intense desire to recline under the shade of a leafy canopy. But something even more profound is happening here: by creating a space for people to talk about something they love, Stewart made me feel more tender-hearted toward my fellow humans. ‘How often do any of us get a chance to pour our hearts out to a stranger?’ she writes. ‘Somehow, talking about trees made it possible.’”Scientific American

“I love everything Amy Stewart has ever created, but this book is my favorite yet. I’m giving this book to everyone I know. Because it, like its subject, is a gift.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The City of Girls and The Signature of All Things

“These mesmerizing trees, and the inspiring people they’ve transformed, will alter your perspective and give you hope.”—Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees

“What a gift! The Tree Collectors takes us on a whirlwind planetary journey into the wondrously entangled life of people and plants. With this book, Amy Stewart shows us how we are all related to one another, through trees.”—Katie Holten, author of The Language of Trees

“Blue gum eucalyptus, oaks, maples, ginkgoes, boxwoods, cottonwoods, dogwoods, mangos, flowering cherries . . . With graceful prose and tender watercolors, Amy Stewart’s arboreal global tour explores the fragility and resilience of Earth’s great canopy. The Tree Collectors ushers readers into the hidden groves and lush forests where the world’s most dedicated gardeners plant the landscape of the future.”—Lauren Redniss, author of Oak Flat

“Like the brushstrokes in the fine paintings alongside them, Stewart’s vignettes add up to something more: a powerful portrait of the human passion for plants and a paean to what the plants give back.”—Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds

“Amy Stewart brings us inside the hidden world of tree collecting in this delightfully offbeat book about a group of otherwise normal people as diverse as the specimens they collect. The Tree Collectors will take root in your consciousness and nurture your soul.”—William Alexander, author of Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World

“Reading The Tree Collectors feels like sitting down and having the best kind of coffee date with one fascinating person after another. No matter your arboreal experience or expertise, you will learn something, while feeling uplifted by Stewart’s own thoughtful and bright botanical illustrations.”—Kathryn Aalto, author of Writing Wild

“Literary pointillism . . . a warm and brilliant mural of life that tells a larger story about humanity: our desires, our losses, our salvation, and our place on a beautiful living planet during a time of immense challenges.”—Greg King, author of The Ghost Forest
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593446850
ISBN-10: 0593446852
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 16th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English