The Journeys of Trees

A story about forests, people and the future, by Zach St. George

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 20 October 2020

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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The Journeys of Trees is an urgent and illuminating portrait of forest migration, and of the people studying the forests of the past, protecting the forests of the present and planting the forests of the  future.

Forests are restless. When a tree dies or a new one sprouts, the forest that includes it has shifted.

When new trees sprout in the same direction, the whole forest begins to migrate – sometimes at astonishing rates.

Today, however, an array of obstacles—humans felling trees by the billions, invasive pests transported  through global trade—threaten to overwhelm these vital movements.

Worst of all, the climate is changing  faster than ever before, and forests are struggling to keep up. 

‘A thoughtful and timely meditation on how our changing world disrupts the bonds  between trees, the lands they root in, and the people whose lives they nourish—and what  we might do about it.’ 

SONIA SHAH
Author of Pandemic and The Next Great Migration

People and trees

A deft blend of science reporting and travel writing, The Journeys of Trees explores the evolving movements of forests by focusing on five trees: giant sequoia, ash, black spruce, Florida torreya and Monterey pine.

Journalist Zach St. George visits these trees in forests across continents, finding sequoias losing their needles in California, fossil records showing the paths of ancient forests in Alaska, domesticated pines in New Zealand and tender new sprouts of blight-resistant American chestnuts in New Hampshire.

‘A fascinating, eloquent, and often surprisingly funny journey into the troubled relationship between people and trees in a future that is now. This is the smartest book yet on how to think and live in the age of climate change.’ 

J. B. MACKINNON
Author of The Once and Future World

Everywhere he goes, St. George meets lively people on conservation’s front lines, from an ecologist studying droughts to an evolutionary evangelist with plans to save a dying species.

He treks through the  woods with activists, biologists and foresters, each with their own role to play in the fight for the uncertain future of our environment. 

An eye-opening investigation into forest migration past and present, The Journeys of Trees examines how we can all help our trees, and our planet, survive and thrive. 

Zach St. George is a science reporter who has written for the Atlantic, Scientific American,  and Outside, among other publications. He earned a degree in journalism from the University of  California, Berkeley, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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