Join our mailing list for bookish updates | There's 10% off all books on our website & free UK p&p. Offer applied at checkout

The Man Who Plants Trees

Look Inside
Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: Science & Mathematics, Travel & Nature
Illustrations: Woodcut illustrations

The Man Who Plants Trees

Jim Robbins

An extraordinary investigation into the world of trees - and the inspiring story of one man's quest to help save the world's oldest and greatest specimens

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847659033 (16 May 2013)

About the book

This is an extraordinary book about trees. It's an account by a veteran science journalist that ranges to the limits of scientific understanding: how trees produce aerosols for protection and 'warnings'; the curative effects of 'forest bathing' in Japan; or the impact of trees in fertilizing ocean plankton. There is even science to show that trees are connected to the stars.

Trees and forests are far more than just plants: they have myriad functions that help maintain the atmosphere and biosphere. As climate change increases, they will become even more critical to buffer the effects of warmer temperatures, clean our water and air and provide food. If they remain standing. The global forest is also in crisis, and when the oldest trees in the world suddenly start dying - across North America, Europe, the Amazon - it's time to pay attention.

At the heart of this remarkable exploration of the power of trees is the amazing story of one man, a shade tree farmer named David Milarch, and his quest to clone the oldest and largest trees - from the California redwoods to the oaks of Ireland - to protect the ancient genetics and use them to reforest the planet.

About the author

Jim Robbins is a frequent contributor to the science section of the New York Times. He has written for Vanity Fair, Sunday Times, Scientific American, Discover, Psychology Today and numerous other magazines. He lives in 20 acres of woods in Helena, Montana.


This is a story of miracles and obsession and love and survival. Told with Jim Robbins's signature clarity and eye for telling detail, The Man Who Planted Trees is also the most hopeful book I've read in years.

- Alexandra Fuller

The great poet W. S. Merwin once wrote, 'On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.' It's good to see, in this lovely volume, that some folks are getting a head start!

- Bill McKibben

Sobering and inspiring

- The Simple Things

Robbins does begin to address the long-neglected question of whether planting trees is really a substitute for conserving existing trees. And - like Jean Giono's famous novel L'Homme Qui Plantait des Arbres, from which he drew inspiration - it is a good read as a literary work.

- Oliver Rackham, Spectator

A green light in the ecological darkness of the new century

- Iain FInlayson, Saga

Additional Information

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: Science & Mathematics, Travel & Nature
Illustrations: Woodcut illustrations

It appears you don't have the ability to view PDFs in this browser.
Click here to download the sample directly.