The New Sylva

A detailed and sumptuous celebration of trees and forests, by authors Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet. Published by Bloomsbury in 2014, the 400 pages of The New Sylva features more than 100 tree species, accompanied by 200 specially commissioned pen and ink drawings.

The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet
The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet

The New Sylva: A Discourse of Forest and Orchard Trees for the Twenty-First Century.  Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblet. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. ISBN978-1408835449

Its pages contain not merely descriptions of the appearance of individual species. . . . It is a magisterial work that combines art and history with science. . . . The book is a stimulating read, and beautiful to look at.” Jack Watkins, The Countryman.

“Gabriel Hemery’s text is a precise, fascinating, fluent, wide-ranging and hard-headed synthesis: an excellent popular introduction to tree biology and forestry. But the book is more than that . . . Hemery is out to celebrate and inspire passion and love . . .” Caspar Henderson, Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

The book has won a number of awards and received wide acclaim (see a selection below).

I wrote a website dedicated to the making of the book during 2012-14 (formerly at and now subsumed within this website, see:

Look Inside

More Reviews

“Elegant … with glorious drawings” –  Sunday Telegraph

“An excellent successor to Sylva, well written and full of interesting information … The illustrations are magnificent, pen drawings by the great tree artist Sarah Simblet. She has the rare gift of depicting a recognisable leafless tree, a gift that was denied to artists Poussin and Gainsborough” – Oliver Rackham, Spectator

“Sumptuous … exquisite drawings grace almost every spread. The reader will be beguiled into consuming large sections in a single sitting. It’s also a book for dipping into. … planting trees is an affirmation of faith in the future, and this book will inspire new generations of tree planters, just as the original did” –  Gardens Illustrated

“We dig this … a book that proclaims its virtues with quiet dignity” –  Sunday Times

“Exquisite” –  BBC Countrylife

“Beautiful, useful and inspirational” –  BBC Wildlife Book of the Month

“Exquisite … eloquently written and beautifully illustrated” –  The Lady

“… should inspire the current generation of planters, whether they have acres or a small back garden” –  Garden

“Perfect for fireside evenings dreaming of woodland rambles” –  BBC Countrylife

“Gorgeous, precious and important” –  Resurgence & Ecologist

“An unparalleled understanding of our trees” –  Mail on Sunday

“A delight on every page” –  Gardening Books of the Year, Evening Standard

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