The Wonder of Trees
By Olavi Huikari
Bloomsbury Press, $12.00, 58 pages
The Miracle of Trees is a fascinating introduction and primer on the natural history of trees. Professor Olavi Huikari, who heads the Department of Forestry at Helsinki University, Finland, shares the wonder and glory of our leaf bearing botanical co-habitants on the planet. The work was translated from Finnish by Matti Pohjonen with the assistance of FILI, the Finnish Literary Exchange. The book is slim, only 58 pages, but it covers a lot of territory. The strongest element of the book is the many beautiful drawings that accompany the text. The engravings show a remarkable amount of detail. Some are beautiful black and white drawings; others are diagrams to accompany the text. The book is somewhat easy to follow and also contains a glossary for those who do not have a botany background.
“The aim of the this book is therefore to help you better understand the miracle of a tree, its parts, purposes and dynamic changes, and the way its life is interwoven into the very definition of what it means to be human.”
The title is surely an attention grabber and the book may not have done as well with a title like The Wonder of Trees. The book, however, is not theological. It does share the wonder of being peppered with all sorts of amazing facts. Trees evolved through natural selection which is luck filtered through competition and survivability. The text, which will not act as a field guide, does underscore our need understand and take care of our botanical neighbors which will help us with Global Warming.
Reviewed by Ryder Miller