Top tree and nature books 2016

2016 has been a rich sylvan literary year, and for the first time I include some fiction too. Hopefully there’s something here to cater for all interests. In no particular order, these are the tree and wood books that have informed and delighted, surprised and shocked me in 2016. [Update:Continue Reading

Q7 When were you last in a woodland?

I conducted a small online survey concerning public attitudes to trees and wood over the Christmas period (December 2011 – January 2012). I collected 83 responses to the survey, which I designed using Survey Monkey. I am the first to admit that the survey had some shortcomings in design, inContinue Reading


Biochar was one of those terms that when first heard left me none-the-wiser. You mean it’s charcoal but with a different name – why’s that? You bury it – that seems a waste, why not burn it? In case it’s a new term to you, here’s a brief overview ofContinue Reading

Poll at

I am conducting a survey on public attitudes to Forestry, specifically Trees and Wood. The results will be published publicly when analyses are complete; possibly as a research article. To produce a meaningful result I need as many respondents as possible. I encourage you to take part; it will takeContinue Reading

Sandalwood billets and chips stacked ready for processing at the Mysore factory

Sandalwood Santalum album L., commonly known as East Indian Sandalwood or Chandan, is a small tropical tree highly prized for its wood and scented oil. Its wonderful fragrant oil is used in perfumes, toiletries and incense. It is a fascinating tree in many ways. Sandalwood: the tree and its cultivationContinue Reading

Sustainable forestry song

Trees are essential to life. Wood is the most sustainable material on Earth. Managing our forests properly means that we can have healthy forests and produce wood. It can be difficult to understand how cutting down a tree in a forest is sustainable. The most common questions I’m asked whenContinue Reading

Gabriel Hemery speaking at the Art and Joy of Wood conference

The culture, traditions, aesthetics of wood have been largely overlooked by scientists and the policy community. Trees and wood are at the heart of our future: to live sustainably we must use more wood while conserving and expanding our forests. Continue Reading

Some years ago I had the privilege of visiting a leading maker of fine guns, James Purdey and Sons of London (Est. 1814), where I met their wood expert and buyer. The common or English walnut (Juglans regia) is the wood of choice for gunmaking as it has superior strengthContinue Reading