89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arboreal trilogy
"I never met a Tudge I didn't like" is a fitting adage for this wide-ranging author. Having written an "unauthorised biography" of life, the impact of agriculture on human development and other works, Tudge has created a masterpiece of science writing. No longer can we claim that we can't "see the woods for the trees" since he has detailed the mechanics of both in...
Published on 3 May 2006 by Stephen A. Haines
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interestingi in places but badly edited
I've just finished reading this book, and it took me a long time. I like trees, and was looking forward to read the book to improve my knowledge about them, but the way the subject is presented really makes it a difficult and ponderous book.
The book is divided in three parts, the second being a long review of all the tree families. This is the longest and...
Published on 21 Oct 2008 by Il Principe Brutto
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dad loves It,
This review is from: The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Penguin Press Science) (Paperback)I think my Father likes plants better than most people, the older i get the more i see why, this book opened his eyes to the complex ecological niche that trees fulfil in the environment broadening and deepening his understanding of trees.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read,
This review is from: The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Penguin Press Science) (Paperback)Great book for those with a passion for tress as well as the casual reader. I great insight into the trees of the world and their origins. An easy read and can be read in two days as well as having some excellent reference material
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on trees,
This review is from: The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Penguin Press Science) (Paperback)Full of interesting facts that you would otherwise not be aware of. A few chapters are quite scientific but once through these the book is very readable and one which I will read over and over again.
The author obviously loves trees... I will keep my eyes open for a sequel to this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret life of trees.,
Easy to read with tons of background information about other flora and fauna.
2.0 out of 5 stars My obligation to read this is still unfulfilled :(,
23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You really have to be a tree anorak, and even then....,
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you ever wanted to know about trees but never thought to ask,
Not only does Tudge describe what we know of the evolution of trees, their uses, their abilities and their important place in the ecology of the planet, as he does so he illuminates diverse topics such as the difficulties of scientific classification and the impact of DNA studies upon the field, the intricate interrelations between trees and other organisms, the often harmful consequences of commercial monocultures and exploitation, large-scale geographical systems and the risks of global warming.
He does this by writing in a wholly engaging and balanced manner. The book is neither a modern homily nor a lecture, yet all who read it are likely to come away much better informed and with much to think upon, having enjoyed the experience.
I recommend this book to you strongly not merely if you are interested in trees, wonderful though they are, but also because of its insights into life on this planet in general. Tudge has done a fine job of melding his material into something readable and informative.
24 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
This review is from: The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Hardcover)An amazingly absorbing book, albeit with a lot of biological descriptions of plant structure. Still very readable, but unless you have the memory of a sponge don't expect to retain it all! Aside from the botany which is in itself very interesting, Tudge incorporates all manner of info, much of it surprising, such as the fact that mangroves use the tidal movement of the sea as an external lung to transport oxygen to the submerged roots. Along with stories such as that of Pontius Pilate sitting beneath a still-living Yew Tree in Scotland (and the fact it may have been possible), how forest fires can be beneficial and the ethnobotanical uses of many plants, this is one book that deserves a second reading
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get through it,
This is why I bought this book, and also because it got so many star reviews.
Well, I couldn't get through it.
Believe me, I really tried; I'm not one for giving up easily on a book, I'm a bit obsessional that way (once you start, you gotta finish).
I really don't understand how the 5-star-reviewers can love and enjoy this book so much. To me it was just a long list of tree species, latin names, subspecies etc. Extremely tedious, turgid, and hard-going.
I'm glad I eventually chucked it aside, and have no intention to "come back to it sometime".
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard going,
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The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter (Penguin Press Science) by Colin Tudge (Paperback - 6 July 2006)