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Among all the varied productions with which Nature has adorned the surfaces of the earth, none awakens our sympathies, or interests our imagination so powerfully as those venerable trees, which seem to have stood the lapse of ages John Muir, 1868 A fascinating celebration of the some of the oldest living organisms on the planet, from the grand Oaks of Europe and mighty Redwoods of California to Africas upside-down Baobab tree, and from the Ginkgos of China and Korea to the Olive tree, the worldwide symbol of peace. Ancient Trees covers those species of tree that have lived for more than a thousand years: the Redwood, Bristlecone pine, Montezuma Cypress, the Monkey Puzzle, Amazonian Ancients, Yew, Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Lime, Olive, Welwitschia, the Baobab, Kauri, Totara, Antarctic Beech, the Fig, Cedar, and Ginkgo. Anna Lewington, the well-known writer on all things botanical, and leading wildlife photographer Edward Parker provide an illuminating and visually striking history of each tree species, including where the long-living species can still be found, the trees botanical details, and its mythical associations.
Big old trees inspire our respect and even affection. The poet Walt Whitman celebrated a Louisiana live oak that was solitary "in a wide flat space, / Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near." Groves and alleys of live oaks remain as distinctive landscape features on Louisiana's antebellum plantations, while massive individuals still cast their shade over churches, graveyards, parks, and roads. Cajuns have adopted the "Evangeline Oak" as one of their symbols. And the attachment that Louisianians feel for live oaks is equaled by that of Guatemalans for ceibas, the national tree of Guatemala. Long before Europeans came to the Americas, the ceiba, tallest of all native species, was the Mayan world tree, the center of the universe. Today, many ceibas remain as centers of Guatemalan towns, spreading their branches over the central plaza and marketplace. In this compelling book, Kit Anderson creates a vibrant portrait of the relationship between people and trees in Louisiana and Guatemala. Traveling in both regions, she examined and photographed many old live oaks and ceibas and collected the stories and symbolism that have grown up around them. She describes who planted the trees and why, how the trees have survived through many human generations, and the rich meanings they hold for people today. Anderson also recounts the natural history of live oaks and ceibas to show what human use of the landscape has meant for the trees. This broad perspective, blending cultural geography and natural history, adds a new dimension to our understanding of how big old trees and the places they help create become deeply meaningful, even sacred, for human beings.
There is a growing evidence base that documents the social, environmental and economic benefits that urban trees can deliver. Trees are, however, under threat today as never before due to competition for space imposed by development, other hard infrastructures, increased pressure on the availability of financial provision from local authorities and a highly cautious approach to risk management in a modern litigious society. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all of us in construction and urban design disciplines to pursue a set of goals that not only preserve existing trees where we can, but also ensure that new plantings are appropriately specified and detailed to enable their successful establishment and growth to productive maturity. Aimed at developers, urban planners, urban designers, landscape architects and arboriculturists, this book takes a candid look at the benefits that trees provide alongside the threats that are eliminating them from our towns and cities. It takes a simple, applied approach that explores a combination of science and practical experience to help ensure a pragmatic and reasoned approach to decision-making in terms of tree selection, specification, placement and establishment. In this way, trees can successfully be incorporated within our urban landscapes, so that we can continue to reap the benefits they provide.
One of the main problems and aims of nature conservation in Europe is to protect semi-open landscapes. The development during the past decades is characterized by an ongoing intensivation of land use on the one hand, and an increasing number of former meadows and pastures lying fallow caused by changing economic conditions on the other hand. In several countries the estabishment of larger "pasture landscapes" with a mixed character of open grassland combined with shrubs and forests has been recognized as one solution to this problem. The book gives an overview of the European projects concerning to this topic - nature conservation policy and strategies, scientific results and practical experiences creating large scale grazing systems.

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