The Gardeners Book Club: “The Wild Trees”

On Tuesday November 12, nine Gardeners gathered at Anne Kellett’s house for the first meeting of our book club. The book we read was “The Wild Trees” by Richard Preston.

Everyone found the book interesting and we were all surprised at how much we did not know about the botany of the giant redwoods. For example, there is a whole ecosystem that exists at the top of the trees, where plants, lichens and even berries (and wasps) can be found. We also didn’t realize that there can be something called a fairy ring, where gathered around the parent tree can be a ring of genetically identical trees.

Most of us didn’t realize the trees are very picky about where they grow, sort of like goldilocks-they only exist in a narrow range somewhat near the California Coast and into Southern Oregon. Our discussion touched on the author’s inclusion of much background information about each of the character’s lives, which ones we found most appealing, and how some overcame a great deal of adversity to study and climb the trees. We were fascinated by the fact that Richard Preston himself learned to climb the tall trees, making the story even more personal. We learned that some of the characters attributed personalities to the trees, and how tragic it was that so many were lost to logging. We then touched on the GCA redwood grove and the fund raising efforts that are outlined on the home page of the GCA website to restore and repair the grove. We hope more Gardeners will contribute to our club effort to donate to the grove, and will have a chance to read the next book.

Our Next Book:

Our spring book is “The Seed Underground, A growing Revolution to Save Food”, by Janisse Ray. Our next meeting will occur after the Flower Show, in March.

Barbara Geltosky





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