The art and math of tree fractals

My writing about art and math in nature are always among my most popular posts, and I’ve meant to write about fractals for a while because they fascinate me. This time of year the bare branches of deciduous trees display their full beauty and fascinating growth patterns. Did you know that most trees have no… Read More

Native trees of Britain

There are 60 or more trees in Britain that are native, meaning tree species, subspecies or hybrids that have established themselves without the hand of man. Yet only 35 are widespread meaning that the palette is actually quite limited, particularly when the full range of benefits from woodlands are considered, together with threats from environmental change. Read More

Rethinking the history of common walnut (Juglans regia L.) in Europe: its origins and human interactions

I’ve recently co-authored this scientific paper which reveals the history of common walnut in Europe. Abstract Common walnut (Juglans regia L) is an economically important species cultivated worldwide for its high-quality wood and nuts. It is generally accepted that after the last glaciation J. regia survived and grew in almost completely isolated stands in Asia, and… Read More

Tree Charter: a voice for trees and people

Our life on Earth is entwined with trees, even if we’re not always aware of their importance. It often takes a special moment for us remember the significance of something we can so easily take for granted. The Year 2017 is one such moment for trees and forests in the UK, this being the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest. Read More

Pacific northwest forest ecosystem in Scotland

As part of the research for my book, The New Sylva, I visited recently a remarkable place in Scotland where many so-called exotic coniferous species are not only thriving but are forming a functioning forest ecosystem similar to that found in the Pacific northwest of America. There are … Read More

Hobgoblins and wyches

I was lucky enough this week to be given the freedom to explore a unique and wonderful woodland at the UK Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers: a box woodland. I was there with co-author Sarah Simblet as part of our research for our book: The New Sylva. You can read more about the visit… Read More