From majestic Redwoods to ancient Western Bristlecone Pines, California’s trees have long inspired artists, poets, naturalists–and real estate developers. Verna Johnston’s splendid book, illustrated with her superb color photographs and Carla Simmons’s detailed black-and-white drawings, now offers an unparalleled view of the Golden State’s world-renowned forests and woodlands.
In clear, vivid prose, Johnston introduces each of the state’s dominant forest types. She describes the unique characteristics of the trees and the interrelationships of the plants and animals living among them, and she analyzes how fire, flood, fungi, weather, soil, and humans have affected the forest ecology. The world of forest and woodland animals comes alive in these pages–the mating games, predation patterns, communal life, and the microscopic environment of invertebrates and fungi are all here.
Johnston also presents a sobering view of the environmental hazards that threaten the state’s trees: acid snow, ozone, blister rust, over-logging. Noting the interconnectedness of the diverse life forms within tree regions, she suggests possible answers to the problems currently plaguing these areas. Enriched by the observations of early naturalists and Johnston’s many years of fieldwork, this is a book that will be welcomed by all who care about California’s treasured forests and woodlands.