Sprout LandsEthical Arts & Fashion News & Features
In Sprout Lands – Tending the Endless Gift of Trees, William Bryant Logan travels from the English fens to Spain, California and Japan to rediscover and celebrate what was once a common and practical ecology – finding hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.
‘William Bryant Logan’s vision of a world in which humans and trees work together to mutual benefit—a world that has existed in the past and can exist again in the future—is cause for deep joy, for celebration and hope.’
Author of The Hidden Life of Trees
Farmers once knew how to make a living fence and fed their flocks on tree-branch hay. Rural people knew how to prune hazel to foster abundance: both of edible nuts and of strong, flexible rods for bridges, walls and baskets. Townspeople cut beeches to make charcoal to fuel ironworks. Shipwrights shaped oaks to make hulls. No place could prosper without knowing how to cut trees.
Pruning the trees didn’t destroy them – rather, it created the healthiest, most sustainable and diverse woodlands possible. From these woods came the poetic landscapes of Shakespeare’s England and of ancient Japan. The trees themselves lived longer.
There is a common thought among urbanites that ‘conservation’ means not interfering with
nature. The only alternative they envision is ruthless exploitation.
This book shows that real conservation means becoming responsible members of the natural world, active and participating in her processes.
As we have seen – in the destruction of the western conifer forests in the US and Canada, for example – refusal to act responsibly can be just as damaging as unbridled exploitation.
Responsibility – response to the land – can be active.