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4.0 out of 5 stars
British Native Trees - Their Past and Present Uses
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2006
This book is short (83 pages long in all) and is mostly taken up with an alphabetical listing of wood types with a short description and a list of what they have been and are used for. This list is exactly the same as the one on the website [...] so check this out first to see if you think the book is worth buying.

There are also 6 (large text) pages on the author's woodland thoughts and 10 pages on making fires. I would have liked these two sections to have been longer as the author is obviously very knowledgable and has a lots of "wood experience" but only shares a small fraction of his knowledge.

There are a few small black and white pictures scattered throughout the book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2006
What a pleasing little book. I was given mine as a present and I shall be buying many more for the same purpose. The author knows his subject but he also knows where to stop, which is a rare skill. You learn plenty within these pages, and some of it is quirky and surprising: but it's not a lecture! It's a human, friendly, practical sort of book, and the stuff about how to set and light a fire is worth the price alone. There's also a good 'resources' section at the end with lots of websites and addresses of interest to smallholding / conservation / tree-loving types. Excellent value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2014
This book is certainly well worth buying if you have access to woodland and are allowed to fell trees, or have an interest in this sort of thing. The book mentions 21 common trees but surprisingly does not mention Sycamore ("self-seeds like a weed"), which is the most common tree on my plot of land. However, it does mention a close cousin "Maple". I wish it would also mention Laburnum and put parents on their guard about the highly poisonous properties of this tree, particularly the seed pods: 6 seeds from a seed-pod could easily kill a child. Laburnum is a wood which is difficult to burn and gives little heat. I would also like this book to give a warning about Portuguese Laurel. Never burn any part of this shrub: the smoke is toxic. The book contains concise information about coppicing, firewood and charcoal. I wish it would mention something about the importance of pruning (something I do a lot of). However, in only 83 pages this book gives you the basics of what one needs to know. It is also so enjoyable to read that I keep re-reading it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2011
What a treat! I didn't know what to expect. Thought this may be a dry historical account. This little book is great for info. on how long to season wood for before burning or what will burn green or indeed what types burn better than others. The old rhymes are charming and the trees are given context by their descriptions and the information on their past uses. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2010
If you're passionate about British trees then you'll be passionate about this book.
The author is obviously extremely knowledgeable about tree's & nature - and it's great that he has passed his extendable know how onto us who have little knowledge, but would love to know more
It's great for taking with you on walks to indentify tree's, even on camping trip's to light a camp fire (obviously ensuring all safety measures are undertaken)
This was the first book I bought from this author & now own a few more (& will hopefully own more in the future)
Buy this book you'll love it x
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2006
I've always been interested in trees and history so this book has been a real treat. I thought I knew quite a bit about the uses of wood but many of the possibilities described in this book have been fascinating and mind-boggling. The current uses which could be expanded in the future have been food for thought too and show just how important our natural resources are. The section on burning wood in the home was great - I've always been pretty good at building fires but I'm even better now - the one-match-fire really works - and not a firelighter in sight!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2014
This short, but well organised, survey of British trees gives the layman a clear overview of the various properties of our native varieties of wood – a great starting point for anyone wanting an overview with a little history and the comprehensive resources guide at the end points the reader onwards and upwards in whichever direction he or she wishes to go. For the beginner-woodworker, there was perhaps a little too much emphasis on wood for burning and charcoal-making and perhaps not enough detail on the properties of the woods for carpentry and joinery, but it is such a vast subject that it would probably call for a different type of book.

All in all, a great pocket-size guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2011
book very good and great tips for lighting fires which I needed as we had problems with smoke but the tips helped and we no longer have a problem. It also arrived promptly and in perfect condition, all the way to Cyprus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2013
bought this to help with tree identification and for tips of firewood use, but it's not very good, the pictures are all black and white and there aren't that many anyway, it's quite a small, thin book and feels cheap.

Sent back for refund
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on 5 November 2014
When reading the intro to this book I felt very happy with what seemed a really worthwhile purchase, looking forward to the remainder. Sadly now, as I near its end I feel let down, mainly by the knowledge I could no more identify "native" trees now than I could at the outset!

Add identification advice along with quality photographs showing full size trees and close ups and this would have been a winner. I would have happily paid more being able to identify the subject matter with the historical and current contexts that to be fair, were well written and informative.
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