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America's Famous and Historic Trees: From George Washington's Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley's Pin Oak Hardcover – April 20, 2001
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Nurseryman Jeffrey Meyer founded the Famous and Historic Trees Project as a way of preserving and propagating the past. The project began after his son came to him with an acorn fallen from Jacksonville, Florida's "Treaty Live Oak"--a vast old tree growing in the spot where the Timucuan tribe sat for tribal councils. Meyer took the acorn home and planted it in his backyard. "From that little acorn also germinated the idea of growing descendants of important trees," he notes.
America's Famous and Historic Trees tells the stories of various trees that Meyer and his cohorts rescued or propagated: oftentimes, when trees were going to be cut down, he and his workers headed off the bulldozers, rescuing the tree with their massive tree hoe. Other trees--like the Indian Marker Pecan in southeast Dallas--were propagated before they died. Some of the ancestor trees still stand in their historic places--like Elvis Presley's Pin Oaks on the grounds of Graceland. Chapters here follow the trials and tribulations of specific trees, and end with "how to propagate" instructions for a wide variety of species: sycamore, cottonwood, bur oak, magnolia. This book is not about photographs--what images are included are simply of big trees alongside houses or suburban developments, awkward and misplaced, like an elegant old man in a multiplex. Meyer hopes to inspire his readers to plant and nurture forests that will outlive them, and to rescue trees from the unknown forces of the future by revering their pasts. --Emily White
From Library Journal
A decade ago, Meyer, a history buff and nurseryman who planted trees in new housing developments in Florida, had an inspiration to gather seeds from famous trees throughout the country and make the saplings available for people to plant in their own yards. He proposed this idea to the nation's oldest conservation organization, American Forests, and with their encouragement, founded the Famous and Historic Trees Project. Here, Meyer focuses on 17 of these trees, including the Frederick Douglass white oak and the Walden Woods red maple. For each tree, he provides abundant historical background, a description of its distinct qualities, detailed instructions on how to grow it from seed, and suggestions about where to plant it. Numerous illustrations enliven the text, and a 16-page color insert provides photographs of all the trees described. Because of its somewhat narrow focus, this is recommended for larger American history collections as well as landscape gardening collections. Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.