“Tune into the rhythm of the seasons with a delightful arboreal almanac.” So begins a generous book review of The Tree Almanac 2024 by Andrew Painting, an ecologist writing in the February edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine. The following is the full review copy.


The almanac is a form that has largely fallen from grace, to be replaced by the disparate (ahem, unreliable) information sources that litter the digital sphere. This is a shame, as the form has a rich heritage, and speaks to knowledge and culture learned and shared over millennia. Author Gabriel Hemery uses the almanac form to reimagine and reaffirm long-lost links to our nature and culture.

“Trees need champions and Hemery is an enthusiastic advocate.”

Andrew Painting, BBC Countryfile Magazine, February 2024

The Tree Almanac invites us to reconsider a venerable way of experiencing the natural world, placing us within the annual rhythms of seasons: growth, harvest and death. Nature and culture mingle in these pages, as well they should. Aimed at the enthusiast rather than the expert, we are presented with a compendium of information ranging from the trivial (think pub quiz) to the lyrical, by way of the practical (hedgelaying, recipes, craft ideas). Trees need champions and Hemery is an enthusiastic advocate. An almanac for 2024 would be useless unless it responded to the present, and Hemery is sure to include in its pages the unease of the Anthropocene, the impacts of the climate crisis and the devastation brought by invasive non-native species and tree disease.

Think of this book, then, as a script for living with trees over the course of a year. It is an excellent primer for someone with an innate though neglected love of trees, who feels 2024 is the year they would like to do something to redress that neglect.

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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