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A Natural History of Trees: of Eastern and Central North America Paperback – June 27, 1991


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A Natural History of Trees: of Eastern and Central North America + Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Reissue edition (June 27, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395581745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395581742
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Both poetically evocative and deep with scholarly information . . . The descriptions amount to essays in human ecology." -- Thomas Lyon

About the Author

Paul H. Landacre was a renowned print artist. Paul, a noted naturalist, spent much time in the secluded spot gardening and befriending local wildlife near his home in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. He famously rehabilitated a wounded petrel, and the two became so attached that the bird would sit on his shoulder while he read the newspaper on the house’s front porch. He later adopted the petrel as his monogram (perhaps his affinity for the bird was related to his own handicap, for Landacre, a former champion at track and field, had become disabled by a streptococcus infection while in college). Many of his engravings were in fact inspired by the landscape around the El Moran property, and virtually all of the works that he created during his and Margaret’s time there were made on his own hand press: a fact which some have credited as a turning point in his career, for it enabled him to constantly check the progress of his work, as well as personally select with which paper and ink they would be printed. Paul Hambleton Landacre (1893-1963) and his wife Margaret moved to 2006 El Moran in March of 1932, having acquired the deed for the Depression-era price of two thousand dollars. They moved to El Moran shortly after the artist published a book of his works, titled “California Hills.” At the time, Landacre had already begun working exclusively in the art of printmaking with wood engravings, having studied at the Otis College of Art and Design (he would later teach there). Paul Landacre passed away in 1963, due to complications in the aftermath of a suicide attempt made soon after Margaret died. His work is considered by many to be the standard by which engraved wood printmaking is judged.

Donald Peattie is the author of "A Natural History of Western Trees", "A Natural History of Trees" and a few dozen more, was described by Joseph Wood Krutch as "perhaps the most widely read of all contemporary American nature writers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William Kreiner on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book and its companion volume, "A Natural History of Western Trees," are by far the most detailed accounts of the trees of North America. It's truly too bad the author didn't have the chance to complete the third book in this series: "Southern Trees." Never have I read a richer, more lovingly or enthusiastically written description of trees. Aside from being packed with facts, the books offer a glimpse of man's interaction with trees and teaches one how to interact with them and respect them. The author's enthusiasm is contagious!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Forster on February 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a great book for tree lovers.Though not very good for identification(one of the field guides would be better for that),this is an excellent book for the reader who has already learned to identify the various trees and now wants to learn something about them.The short,non-technical articles cover a host of topics,from botany and historical reports to the author's personal acquaintance with the various trees discussed.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book provides some fascinating information on the natural history of the major tree species of the east and central U.S. While some species are covered in much greater detail than others, and other species are completely excluded from mention, the book is still fascinating reading for those interested in the commercial uses, wildlife value, and historical impact that trees have had in this area of the world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ross E. Nelson on June 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
What an extraordinary book. You might not think it possible, but this book about trees reads like fine literature. It is full of stories, legends, and facts about these giants in the earth, not to mention the author's interesting ruminations. Here's a sample of Peattie's writing on the bur oak, after the pages devoted to its Latin name, range, characteristics, and the like: "[W]hen we are gone the rippling fox squirrels and the jeering crows will not remember us; the big dull yellow leaves of the Bur Oaks will cover the paths of our autumns. But these same trees will see our children and our children's children, and look to them the mansions that they are."

Wonderful stuff. In addition to all this the book is chockablock with anecdotes of specific trees and their histories, and how our forefathers and the American Indian viewed the various types of trees. Tree lover or not, you'll enjoy this book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By P. van Rijckevorsel on June 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the essential book for anyone who cares for the trees and forests of the USA. The writer has a talent, unmatched as far as I know, to spin a tale on trees, bringing to life not only the trees of North America but also the people who walked among them.
It also is an essential book for anyone interested in the history of the USA. Fittingly the book starts off with a description of white pine and the birth of what is now the USA. In short anyone who claims to care for trees or to be interested in how the USA came to be and who is not familiar with the contents of this book is in serious danger of appearing to be a charlatan.
[Quality of the reprint could be better; actually this book deserves to be in hardcover. However, the quality of the reprint could also be a lot worse, or -horrible thought!- the book might go out of print altogether]
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