New Trees book about species introduction is called a 'classic'

A book detailing 850 species of tree introduced to cultivation in the past 40 years is being hailed as a classic tome for tree lovers and professionals.

New Trees documents the UK's changing treescapes in the face of global warming and aims to help readers check the conservation status of their trees.

The 992-page doorstop "complements" the iconic tree text Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles by WJ Bean, first published in 1914 and revised until the 1970s.

The author, gardener and botanist John Grimshaw, said: "A wealth of new trees are thriving in the UK thanks to our changing climate."

His book, from Kew Publishing, explains how the world's tallest hardwood, Eucalyptus regnans, is now thriving in the UK. Meanwhile, the Wollemia nobilis was growing at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, just over a decade after its discovery in a gorge near Sydney in 1994.

As well as featuring botanical details, the book looks at the horticultural needs of each species and contains a section on modern tree-growing techniques.

Kew arboretum head Tony Kirkham said in the foreword that climate change coupled with increased value of good provenance had pushed boundaries of plant exploration.

"We are able to find hardy plant material from countries over a much wider area including Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Chile and Mexico.

"As a result we can now experiment with tree selection with confidence and push the parameters of hardiness by planting trees we wouldn't have in previous years."

The £99 book, which took five years to complete, includes technical descriptions from plant curator Ross Bayton and line drawings by Zimbabwean Hazel Wilks.

New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation was the brainchild of Kew and the International Dendrology Society.


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