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  • Ash Tree is the last published work of the author and pays tribute to one of Britain's iconic native trees as well as highlighting the factors that contribute to threats such as Ash dieback disease.
  • Oliver Rackham, OBE FBA (1939-2015), botanist, historian and ecologist, was and is renowned for his work on woodlands and landscape in the British Isles, as well as his contribution to archaeology studies on Crete.
  • Amongst his more well known books still in print are: Hayley Wood - it's History and Archaeology - the focus of an early and ongoing interest; Ancient Woodland in which he developed his ideas about woodland in SE England; to later more wide ranging books such as History of the Countryside, Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape and the New Naturalist volume 100: Woodlands.
  • Ash is one of the commonest trees in the British Isles – there are nearly as many ash trees as there are people. Perhaps this is why we take them for granted. Poets write of oak, yew, elm, willow, rarely ash. No books have been written about ash trees before.

    Yet ash is one of the most productive hardwoods in Europe. Its strength and elasticity are qualities our Neolithic ancestors recognised while building their tracks across the marshlands of Somerset. Ash has been used ever since, to build and warm homes, to feed livestock, to cure. Before steel it was used to make ploughs and rakes, wheel rims, boat frames, tent pegs and weapons. The human population is not alone finding sustenance and shelter in ash: woodpeckers bore nest holes into them, bats breed in veteran trees, insects, lichens, mosses and liverworts thrive on ash bark, as do hares and rabbits in winter.

    The first noticing of  Ash Disease in 2012 brought this under-appreciated tree to our attention. In response, Oliver Rackham has written this first history and ecology of the ash tree, exploring its place in human culture, explaining Ash Disease, and arguing that globalisation is now the single greatest threat to the world’s trees and forests.

    We cannot go on treating trees like tins of paint or cars to be traded around the world. Neither can we assume that planting a tree is, by default, a good thing. Industrial planting and irresponsible trade are already devastating the world’s tree populations. The Ash Tree is Oliver Rackham’s call for a radical shift in our attitude to trees - how we plant them, how we care for them after they are planted. There is no more urgent message for our times.

    • Hardback version now sold out 14/12/15
    • New Title
    • Condition: New

    Further Information:

    Paperback
    225 x 150mm
    184 pages
    Jacket illustration by David Nash
    Colour photograph and illustrations throughout

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