The Tree Almanac 2024

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A wondrous seasonal journey through Britain and Ireland’s trees. Hardback. Signed copy by the author. ‘A seductive mix of science, history and culture’ – Tracy ChevalierContinue Reading

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This remains one of my most popular posts at Christmas time. I have since written several updates offering even more great gifts for tree and nature lovers:

With Christmas just over one month away, we are all beginning to think about gifts for friends and family. Here’s my top ten list of gifts for all tree, woodland and nature lovers.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, I hope this is of some help. If you know of other ideas, why not add them as a comment and share with other readers?

Please note, this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the
product links, I’ll receive a small commission that supports the costs of running this blog.


A tree! Maybe this should be number one.  Look for the unusual and beautiful, such as those that produce food too: e.g Black Mulberry or a walnut cultivar. There are several companies that can deliver trees direct in the post presented in gift wrap. For something a little different why not gift some native hedging, containing dogwood, spindle, wayfarer, hazel and hawthorn (or ‘quicks): you need to account for about 6 plants per metre (or yard) and about 50% should be hawthorn.


Top quality pruning tools make all the difference when caring for your trees; reducing tree damage while improving your safety.


Tremendous tree books and Magical films


A camera to provide a focus for tree and nature interest. Read more about Tree Photography.


Why not have a hot drink in the outdoors without having to make up and carry a flask?  The engineering of the kelly kettle is fantastic:- boil enough water for a couple of mugs of hot tea with just a few twigs. It’s good fun too and kids love it.


If you live in the UK the ForestXplorer app from the Forestry Commission for use with the iPhone: “carry the forest in your pocket”.  Download or gift from it from the itunes store. An alternative smartphone gift would be a level or theodolite app, which can be used to measure the height of a tree.


A quality bushcraft knife, using handmade quality steel using local hardwoods for the handle, such as the Woodlander series from Ben Orford. Many other choices are available here


A top quality tree planting spade. Look for full strapping, where the metal extends right up the wooden handle. Foresters prefer to use a Schlick:- a design that can be used anywhere and will last a lifetime.  Browse on Amazon.


Serious forester gadgets to help measure and assess trees and woodlands.  Consider a clinometer (for estimating tree height), diameter tape (for measuring tree stem diameter), or a GPS for plotting the location of trees and woodland boundaries.  When it comes to keeping all those notes dry, I’m a huge fan of the WeatherWriter clipboards.


Being comfortable in the great outdoors makes all the difference, and will help make most of many of these gifts when using them in the woods. Quality jackets such as those by Patagonia or Swanndri (especially the latter’s famous bush shirt) combine unique features and construction to provide silent wear (great for watching wildlife) and comfort in inclement weather. Don’t forget feet either, as cold toes will ruin any day in the countryside. You can’t beat a pair of neoprene-lined wellington boots for the ultimate in luxury and comfort, such as those made by Chameau or Hunter.

tree giftsSome free ideas

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Gabriel Hemery

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1 Comment

  1. You do like your toys Gabriel.
    I can testify to the quality and efficiency of the Storm (Kelly) Kettles as a couple of friends of mine have them and they brew a good cuppa in next to no time.

    The Woodlander series of bush knives are pretty pricey but I reckon that is a reflection of the quality of work that goes into making them.

    The Weatherwriter is one of my favourite bits of kit and a most well used item when surveying ancient trees. The covering is clear and easy to keep clean. Word of caution. Don’t cram loads of paperwork and guide books into them as this strains the closure (velcro fold down strip) and eventually the plastic splits along the edge of the opening where it is heat sealed together allowing the metal frame to poke through. You can get more than enough paper into them without overdoing it and there is a clever clip mechanism to hold the paper or pad in place.

    The outdoor gear you recommend is good but there are plenty of other sources too. One that I would recommend from personal experience is Tog24. They have been really great quality clothing over the years and they even stock good quality footwear too. Always helpful and available on line as well as from one of their stores.

    Finally the foresters planting spade is okay but I use an army surplus folding spade which believe it or not is just as good because it also has a serrated edge to cut roots and if its good enough for the UK military then its good enough for me. 🙂

    Have fun

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