The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring

By Richard Preston

Richard Preston’s The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring is a story of Northern California’s redwood forests and the exceptional people who have devoted their lives to their exploration. This book is rewarding as an information source about these magnificent trees, and the technical aspects of their exploration, but also as a narrative describing the characters who are so in love with them.

Preston gives us an in-depth look at the amazing individuals who pioneered the exploration of trees taller than 350 feet and who proved to be incredible athletes, risk-takers, scientists, and adventurers. The reader quickly realizes that the redwoods that are available for tourists to view are not necessarily the most remarkable. But what is even more exciting about this book is the realization that there are still parts of our world yet to be discovered. These tall tree lovers discover an entirely unstudied ecosystem in the canopy of these “supertall” trees. Their lives are forever changed not just by their discoveries, but in their devotion to searching for them.

Read this book and join me and the Scott Arboretum’s brand new Nature’s Narratives Book Discussion Group for a riveting discussion on December 9, 2008 from 5-6:30pm. Also check out the other must-reads as part of the Book Discussion Group!

Liz Haegele
  • M. D. Vaden of Oregon
    Posted at 19:20h, 22 July Reply

    The book is a very good read indeed.

    I have reservations at a local lodge and campground so I can photograph 2 of the major groves mentioned in the book again. But many photos are now available.

    Here is a page I assembled for readers:

    Most of what you wrote above is true, but you might be floored if you knew more about the grove’s locations.

    There is a big secret regarding these groves.


    M. D. Vaden of Oregon

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