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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Botanical poetry
I purchased this book based on a newspaper interview with author, a botanical scientist who promotes the potential for forests to fight pollution, climate change and even human illness through their natural processes and products. I expected it to be a somewhat dry but informative guide to the practical botany of trees. It is in fact something completely different.
A...
Published on June 19 2010 by Ken Kardash

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good try at mixing botany with mythology
This assembly of pithy but poetic essays conveys a lot of wonder and careful observation concerning forest plants. The lore of botany gains a historical, mythical, and a mystical dimension. The treatment is scattered, with a fairly free-flow mixture of chemistry lessons, wise woman healing secrets, an sometimes a dash of Celtic fairy magic. It sometimes gets hard for a...
Published 19 months ago by Brian Griffith


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Botanical poetry, June 19 2010
By 
Ken Kardash (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Global Forest (Hardcover)
I purchased this book based on a newspaper interview with author, a botanical scientist who promotes the potential for forests to fight pollution, climate change and even human illness through their natural processes and products. I expected it to be a somewhat dry but informative guide to the practical botany of trees. It is in fact something completely different.
A slender volume (166 pages of text, including introduction), it is organized into forty "chapters" that are really 4-6-page essays on specific aspects of tree physiology or chemistry. But perhaps because of the Irish ancestry she references at the outset, with its tradition of storytelling, the form of the essays is far from scientific but rather that of almost mystical, poetic appreciation. They even begin with a subtitle "refrain" that captures the essence of each piece. Yes, the book is full of the amazing facts I was hoping to find - such as the existence of warm-blooded plants and the complex chemistry that trees have evolved in order to survive. And there is a hopeful theme of the potential to reverse global ecologic devastation through reforestation. But most of all this is the sensually and lovingly written ode of a passionate scientist, harking back to writers of more enlightened ages when this would not have been considered an oxymoron. Read it for the information, enjoy it for the style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?", Feb. 10 2011
By 
Friederike Knabe "Books are funny little port... (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Global Forest (Hardcover)
This intriguing and pertinent philosophical question, asked in a song by well-know Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn is being answered by a resounding "YES!" in Diana Beresford-Kroeger's highly edifying, detailed and accessible exploration on the life of trees, plants and creatures in the global forests of planet Earth. The author's message in her work, and in this book, is that it is vital for nature's survival as a healthy environment for us and the following generations is to listen and learn. We are called to get engaged in the tasks to help preserve and restore the forests with all their diversity of plants and trees and cohabitating creatures, from insects to bees to birds, from fungi to lichens and more. In forty short chapters, the author takes us by the hand and guides us through different forests, highlighting and explaining what we should know about them, from a biological, ethno-cultural, medicinal and spiritual and any other possible perspective.

Among the many "Wow"! moments when reading the book, I was particular fascinated by everything to do with communication by trees and plants in the forest. It seems that human beings are at a great disadvantage, because most of us cannot hear these "infrasounds", sense the aerosols and understand the low waves of chemicals moving under the forest floor. Through these communication means, trees attract not only the necessary pollinators or emit medicinal aerosols necessary for their and the surrounding flora's health, they can create sound or chemical reactions that are warning signals if a predator is approaching that could endanger the tree's well-being. I had heard about the ability of certain acacia trees to suddenly change the "flavour" of their leaves so that animals would stop eating them. And, research has found, this flavour change happens not only in the affected tree but immediately in all close standing trees, suggesting some form of communication. Beresford-Kroeger explains these and other phenomena in very convincing ways.

The author, a botanist and medical biochemist is a recognized expert on the medicinal, environmental and nutritional properties of trees, shares in this brief comprehensive book her knowledge and wisdom that encompasses all creatures in the forests and their interrelationships. She has studied traditional societies, from First Nations in Canada to many others around the world and recorded their, often oral, knowledge of the medicinal properties of trees and plants. It is a cross-genre kind of book, rich in scientific detail as well as filled with story telling and spiritual meaning. At times, the author resorts to anthromorphizing that I personally don't find totally convincing. Still, ideally, it is a book to be kept in a prominent place and consulted regularly rather than read in one go and filed away. It is a reference guide to the living world of the Global Forests. I would have preferred a comprehensive index and glossary to assist in a regular and on-going consulting of the incredible depth and diversity of information. The reference reading list is helpful but could also have been expanded. [Friederike Knabe]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never be a stranger in the forest again., Nov. 17 2013
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It is both magical and scientific. Helps you to better understand your kinship with trees. We need each other, humans and trees
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5.0 out of 5 stars trees and more of the world of them just missing the golden spruce story yes it is good i think, Oct. 21 2013
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This review is from: The Global Forest (Hardcover)
IT WAS wonderful , very happy that it was a lot more than i thought ? fariy s lost in the world
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, June 2 2013
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This review is from: The Global Forest (Hardcover)
This is an awesome book. I think it should be part of every school curriculum and partner with field trips to visit these forests.
All adults who think it is okay to chop and clearcut would benefit from this thoughtful, meaningful look at nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hope, March 4 2013
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Yes there are reasons to be hopeful that the world can be saved as a hospitable place for humanity. This is a guidebook learning how to save ourselves by saving trees.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good try at mixing botany with mythology, Dec 22 2012
By 
Brian Griffith (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Global Forest (Hardcover)
This assembly of pithy but poetic essays conveys a lot of wonder and careful observation concerning forest plants. The lore of botany gains a historical, mythical, and a mystical dimension. The treatment is scattered, with a fairly free-flow mixture of chemistry lessons, wise woman healing secrets, an sometimes a dash of Celtic fairy magic. It sometimes gets hard for a novice like myself to tell where the scientific botany ends and the enthusiastic myth spinning begins.
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The Global Forest
The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger (Hardcover - May 18 2010)
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