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Trees: Their Natural History Paperback – Feb 13 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (Feb. 13 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052145963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521459631
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #458,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Everyone knows what a tree is: a large woody thing that provides shade. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book!! Every page expands what you thought you knew. How do they get that water up 100+ feet? Why are trees deciduous? (Better questions are how many ways they are deciduous, and why, and what does deciduous really mean anyway?) This will make any hike you take more interesting, any tree rings you inspect simply fascinating.
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By C. H. Hinton on Aug. 21 2000
Format: Paperback
Trees: Their Natural History by Peter Thomas is a significant book for any student of trees or enthusiast for dendrology. The structure, function and life-cycle of trees is covered with warmth, perception and with authority. The writing is accessible although there are perhaps a few too many jokes. Despite this drawback the book is full of good reference material, thankfully lacking the homey philosophy and proselytizing of other writers in aboriculture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Root and branch! Aug. 21 2000
By C. H. Hinton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Trees: Their Natural History by Peter Thomas is a significant book for any student of trees or enthusiast for dendrology. The structure, function and life-cycle of trees is covered with warmth, perception and with authority. The writing is accessible although there are perhaps a few too many jokes. Despite this drawback the book is full of good reference material, thankfully lacking the homey philosophy and proselytizing of other writers in aboriculture.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Learn 1,000 new things!!! Oct. 17 2001
By Michael Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book!! Every page expands what you thought you knew. How do they get that water up 100+ feet? Why are trees deciduous? (Better questions are how many ways they are deciduous, and why, and what does deciduous really mean anyway?) This will make any hike you take more interesting, any tree rings you inspect simply fascinating.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Intended as a college text but good for the general reader May 26 2007
By Arthur Digbee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Peter Thomas wrote this book because he teaches about trees and he couldn't find a textbook that he liked. This book clearly fits that particular niche. It's intended as an introductory text for undergraduates, so it's also written at an appropriate level for the general reader.

You'd expect it to be boring, but it isn't. He presents the material in a lively and interesting fashion. Thomas starts with food production (leaves), water transportation (trunk and branches), and the scaffolding that holds a tree up. Along the way, you'll find answers to all those questions that three year olds might ask their parents - - how does the bark stretch when a tree adds a ring? How do apple blossoms turn into apples? Why do quaking aspen leaves quake?

If those questions interest you, you'll enjoy the book. It's organized conceptually and analytically, not around those kinds of questions, but you'll learn the answers along the way. You'll also learn all sorts of other things.

Because Thomas intended it for classroom use, by the later chapters he regularly cross-references concepts and processes that he introduced at the beginning of the book. I'd forgotten some of them, and that was frustrating. If I had been taking a class on trees, my teaching assistant or professor could have clarified, and Thomas clearly wrote the book on the assumption that readers would have such people available. In a revised edition, more gentle reminders for the general reader would be helpful. A glossary of terms wouldn't hurt either.

All in all, though, it's a very good book - - I'd give it a 4.5 if I could. Enjoy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, best I've found Nov. 1 2007
By Zoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have the books by Dirr, the incomparable woody plant specialist--but I needed a basic text to learn how to take care of trees...and Dirr (and all other horticultural texts) barely touch on the specifics of tree growth/needs.

Thomas writes with an intelligent, yet easily accessible, non condescending voice. Yes, there are Latin terms but not so many that you stop to look in the glossary or a dictionary every other sentence.

Also, there is no "preaching" here about the evils of clear-cutting, etc. (You can find many of those books ...but a basic and thorough text has been difficult to find until now.) This is an excellent resource for the serious gardener who wants factual, yet enjoyable, book about the life of trees--and thereby acquire the knowledge necessary for proper care. However, I don't want to mislead anyone: there is not a lengthy discussion of fertilizers, pest control, pruning etc....yet there are discussions regarding tree roots and sewers, house foundations etc.

In other words, reading this book and gaining an understanding the natural history of trees one can then make intelligent decisions regarding their care and maintenance--and recognize which arborists and/or tree care "professionals" to hire or stay away from.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Informative. May 12 2007
By Robert Blakey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very good read. It was obvious the author had a passion for the subject, and that made it to the pages. A nice balance was struck between technical terms and the needs of the layman. I had to look a few terms up, but the author made a good habit of explaining things that a non botanist would understand.

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