Meetings with Remarkable Trees
text and photographs by Thomas Pakenham
This book is a new edition of a book first published in 1996. It has been reprinted, not because it is a complete encyclopaedia on the world’s largest and oldest living structures, but because it is an idiosyncratic and eye-opening selection of unusual trees, chosen by a renowned expert. The result is impossible to put down.
Thomas Pakenham is an Anglo-Irish historian and arborist who has published many books on diverse subjects, including trees. In Meetings with Remarkable Trees he divides his selection into fascinating five groupings that hint at the joys to be had: Natives, Travellers, Shrines, Fantasies and Survivors. Within this inventive framework he introduces unusual examples, ancient specimens or those with poignant histories such as the sycamore on Tolpuddle Green.
Pakenham (also 8th Earl of Longford) includes trees close to his heart, such as the marvellous oak that he knew from his childhood, from his family estate in Ireland, but he looks further afield, criss-crossing Britain to find examples that have come from other continents, for the example monkey puzzle avenue at Bicton, Devon, a ginkgo in Kew Gardens, London or Giant Redwood in Whitfield House, Herefordshire.