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The Wild Trees

A Story of Passion and Daring
Preston, Richard (Book - 2007 )
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 largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustainedthe coast redwood trees,Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. InThe Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The canopyvoyagers are youngjust college students when they start their questand they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there's nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air. 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 that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called "fire caves." Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one's death. Preston's account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists' passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story inThe Wild Treesthe story of the fate of the world's most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.
Authors: Preston, Richard, 1954-
Title: The wild trees
a story of passion and daring
Published: New York : Random House, c2007.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 294 p. :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.
Local Note: 1 4
ISBN: 9781400064892
1400064899
Branch Call Number: 585.5097 PRE
Statement of Responsibility: Richard Preston
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
LCCN: 2006048646
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Wish I would've written it. This is a good one.

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 tobio (tobio) Last updated 2014/09/24 12:25