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The company of trees : a year in a lifetime's quest / Thomas Pakenham.

By: Pakenham, Thomas, 1933-.
Publisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015Description: [vii], 216 p., plates : ill. (chiefly col.), 1 map ; 26 cm.ISBN: 97802978666244 : (hbk.).Subject(s): Pakenham, Thomas, 1933- -- Knowledge -- Trees | Pakenham, Thomas, 1933- -- Travel | TreesDDC classification: 582.16 Subject: From Mongolia and the wildest parts of China to the redwood forests of the US, Thomas Pakenham has circled the globe searching out the oldest, the rarest, the biggest and those with stories to tell. He has led expeditions to conserve seeds, and planted forests; he has chaired tree societies, and led protests against destructio. This book deals with his adventures, of the trees he has encountered and their stories and the often hazardous journeys to find them. Thomas Pakenham, indefatigable champion of trees, narrates a story of exploration and discovery, and of life-cycles that are longer than our own. Lavishly illustrated, The Company of Trees recounts his personal quest to establish a large arboretum at Tullynally, his forays to other tree-filled parks and plantations, his often hazardous seed-hunting expeditions, and his efforts to preserve magnificent old trees and historic woodlands. The book is structured in the form of a travel diary. Almost every chapter shelters stories about the life of his large trees. He takes us on a tour of Tullynally's demesne and its trees, evaluating the condition of the oaks, alders, ash and limes that were among the first plantings. He travels to the Tibetan border in search of a magnolia (magnolias are Pakenham's particular passion), to Eastern Patagonia to see the last remaining giants of the Monkey Puzzle tree, while the first of the Chinese-inspired gardens at Tullynally was planted entirely with seeds from south-west China. An expedition to Tibet's Tsangpo Gorge goes awry only to lead to a fruitful exploration of the Rongchu Valley, which yields more than 100 bags of seeds, including the Tibetan golden oak, the Tsangpo cypress and blue-stemmed maples. All of the collected trees and plants are thriving at Tullynally. Whether writing about the terrible storms breaking the backs of majestic trees which have stood sentinel for hundreds of years, or a fire in the 50-acre peat bog on Tullynally which threatens to spread to 'the main commercial spruce-woods to the west of the peat bog'; his fear of climate change and disease, or the sturdy young sapling giving him hope for the future, the book is never less than enthralling. Pakenham is a passionate writer, educator and entertainer, and brings both wit and wisdom to a subject of universal appeal.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Loanable Book Library
Irish Collection 582.16 PAK (Browse shelf) 1 Available
Non-Loanable Book Library
Irish Reserve 582.16 PAK (Browse shelf) 2 Not for loan

Includes bibliography (p. 202-205) and index.

From Mongolia and the wildest parts of China to the redwood forests of the US, Thomas Pakenham has circled the globe searching out the oldest, the rarest, the biggest and those with stories to tell. He has led expeditions to conserve seeds, and planted forests; he has chaired tree societies, and led protests against destructio. This book deals with his adventures, of the trees he has encountered and their stories and the often hazardous journeys to find them. Thomas Pakenham, indefatigable champion of trees, narrates a story of exploration and discovery, and of life-cycles that are longer than our own. Lavishly illustrated, The Company of Trees recounts his personal quest to establish a large arboretum at Tullynally, his forays to other tree-filled parks and plantations, his often hazardous seed-hunting expeditions, and his efforts to preserve magnificent old trees and historic woodlands. The book is structured in the form of a travel diary. Almost every chapter shelters stories about the life of his large trees. He takes us on a tour of Tullynally's demesne and its trees, evaluating the condition of the oaks, alders, ash and limes that were among the first plantings. He travels to the Tibetan border in search of a magnolia (magnolias are Pakenham's particular passion), to Eastern Patagonia to see the last remaining giants of the Monkey Puzzle tree, while the first of the Chinese-inspired gardens at Tullynally was planted entirely with seeds from south-west China. An expedition to Tibet's Tsangpo Gorge goes awry only to lead to a fruitful exploration of the Rongchu Valley, which yields more than 100 bags of seeds, including the Tibetan golden oak, the Tsangpo cypress and blue-stemmed maples. All of the collected trees and plants are thriving at Tullynally. Whether writing about the terrible storms breaking the backs of majestic trees which have stood sentinel for hundreds of years, or a fire in the 50-acre peat bog on Tullynally which threatens to spread to 'the main commercial spruce-woods to the west of the peat bog'; his fear of climate change and disease, or the sturdy young sapling giving him hope for the future, the book is never less than enthralling. Pakenham is a passionate writer, educator and entertainer, and brings both wit and wisdom to a subject of universal appeal.

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