The Meaning of Trees

book cover Hageneder The Meaning of Trees
book cover Hageneder The Meaning of Trees   Fred Hageneder
The Meaning of Trees
Botany, History, Healing, Lore

224 pages, 70 color photographs and 20 color illustrations
Chronicle Books, San Francisco 2005
ISBN 978-0811848985 (Hc.), ISBN 978-0811848237 (Pb.)

published in the UK as
The Living Wisdom of Trees
Natural History, Folklore, Symbolism, Healing
Duncan Baird, London 2005;
ISBN 978-1844831647 (Hc.), ISBN 978-1844836680 (Pb.)

Also published in Spanish, Dutch, German, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian and Japanese

The Meaning of Trees

The tree is beloved as Mother Nature’s visible symbol of power and grace. The Meaning of Trees is a beautiful celebration of their lore and spirit, botany and history. Genera from aspen to willow are captured in 70 dramatic photographs that illustrate their brilliant seasonal transformations. Featuring more than 50 different types of tree, this informative compendium describes each by way of botanical qualities; medicinal uses for their leaves, bark, and wood; cultural symbolism; magical associations; and so much more.

A visually stunning and engaging guide, The Meaning of Trees is a fitting tribute to this most majestic of natural wonders.

Throughout recorded time and long before, trees have stood as sentinels, wise yet silent, patiently accumulating their rings while the storms of history have raged around them. As well as providing foods, healing medicines and a range of useful materials from ships‘ masts to wine corks, particular trees have loomed large in symbolism and myth. According to a North American Iroquois legend, maple leaves owe their beautiful scarlet colour to the Great Bear constellation, whose blood falls from the heavens every autumn when he is hunted. The oak was sacred to worshippers of the thunder gods of Greece, and to the ancient Celtic peoples, as it was thought to bear the brunt of lightning strikes. And in China Taoist monks cherish the pine for its nuts, which they believe can bestow eternal life.

This book is a richly illustrated guide to the human significance of 59 trees, from alder (Alnus) to oak (Quercus), looking in particular at their botanical characteristics, their place in world myth, magic and folklore, the healing properties of their leaves, bark, nuts or berries, and (more briefly) their practical contribution to society. The coverage is broad – including native cultures such as those of North America and Oceania, and Eastern trees such as the bo tree, sacred to Buddhism, as well as the most important trees of America and Europe.

For each genus of tree featured there is one or more superb colour photographs from the unrivalled collection of renowned tree photographer Edward Parker, showing the tree in its typical habitat.

Discover the sacred meanings behind the natural beauty of trees – explore the folklore and symbolism that give each genus of tree its unique character and fascination for different cultures around the world

• Detailed tree-by-tree coverage of 59 trees, from acacia, alder and apple to walnut, willow and yew

• In-depth treatment of natural history, folklore, myth, magic, symbolism and healing properties


The Meaning of Trees – Reviews

‚A beautiful book to enhance one’s appreciation of trees. … A good part of my budding tree library.‘