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The Wild Trees

A Story of Passion and Daring
Preston, Richard (Book - 2008 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Wild Trees
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Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the tallest organisms the world has ever sustained--the coast redwood trees. 96% of the ancient redwood forests have been logged, but the fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. Writer Preston unfolds the story of the daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems, sometimes hollowed out by fire. Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life unknown to science.--From publisher description.
Authors: Preston, Richard, 1954-
Title: The wild trees
a story of passion and daring
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2008
Edition: Random House trade pbk. ed
Characteristics: 294 p. :,ill., maps ;,20 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Richard Preston
Notes: Preview on Richard Preston's new book "Panic in level 4" included
Summary: Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the tallest organisms the world has ever sustained--the coast redwood trees. 96% of the ancient redwood forests have been logged, but the fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. Writer Preston unfolds the story of the daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems, sometimes hollowed out by fire. Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life unknown to science.--From publisher description.
Additional Contributors: Preston, Richard - Panic in level 4 - 1954-
ISBN: 9780812975598
0812975596
Branch Call Number: 585.5 P939w 2008
Subject Headings: Tree climbing California, Northern Anecdotes Forest conservation California, Northern Forest canopies California, Northern Coast redwood Ecology California, Northern Coast redwood California, Northern
Topical Term: Tree climbing
Forest conservation
Forest canopies
Coast redwood
Coast redwood
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Almost all of our redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but there are some tiny, untouched fragments that remain and are among the great wonders of nature. This is a beautiful story of a tiny group of brave botanists and amateur naturalists that took science by the horns and went into t... Read More »

Three buddies on spring break climb into a California redwood and discover a new ecosystem atop the trees. Join this group of young scientists in the canopy as they learn safe climbing techniques for the oldest and tallest trees of North America, and encounter new species of plants, animals, and ... Read More »

An ecological and biographical account of an ecosystem in 300 foot-high redwood trees and the people who first climbed these trees to find and study it.


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A fascinating account of tall tree enthusiasts and scientists who climb and study some of the world’s biggest trees, primarily the Giant Sequoia. A ‘wild tree’ is one that has not been climbed nor studied. Author Richard Preston (a tree enthusiast himself) follows the work of those few who have developed and mastered climbing techniques that makes study of these amazing trees possible. A wonderful addition to the natural history of the pacific coast, reads like an adventure novel.

Jul 12, 2012
  • hcallahan rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was really fun to read. Preston knows how to write a page-turner. The characters he describes are colorful, as are their activities. Finally, there is actually a good amount of forest science in the book. Highly recommended.

Sep 14, 2011
  • cr421 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

possibly the best book I've read in years. Great subject, great writing and mostly it makes me want to go climb trees. Preston develops his subject so well and the book is so readable that it's hard to put it down and when you do, you find yourself wanting more. Off to the Redwoods I go.......

Sep 13, 2011
  • scottbdr rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Read this during our visit to the Redwoods. Highly recommended if you are going to visit the bit trees since it really gives you a better idea about what they are all about.

Feb 09, 2011
  • Elizabeth_Leboe rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I adored this book; it transported me to the magical land of huge, tall trees and made it feel like the western Sequoia forests were enchanted and inhabited by quirky, passionate people.

Jun 17, 2008
  • Heather rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Very odd people doing interesting things - lots of information on old growth trees and tree climbing, and very interesting people. But the writing is a bit flat and the story becomes a bit tedious at times.

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Version pocillo (pocillo) Last updated 2014/08/21 13:32