The author discusses his latest book, “Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees,” a rediscovery of the lost traditions of tree pruning that sustained human life and culture for thousands of years. Logan is a certified arborist and the author of the acclaimed books: “Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth,” “Oak: The Frame of Civilization,” and “Air: The Restless Shaper of the World.” He is a faculty member at New York Botanical Garden.
About the book (from Amazon):
Once, farmers knew how to make a living hedge and fed their flocks on tree-branch hay. Rural people knew how to prune hazel to foster abundance: both of edible nuts, and of straight, strong, flexible rods for bridges, walls, and baskets. Townspeople cut their beeches to make charcoal to fuel iron works. Shipwrights shaped oaks to make hulls. No place could prosper without its inhabitants knowing how to cut their trees so they would sprout again.
Pruning the trees didn’t destroy them. Rather, it created the healthiest, most sustainable and most diverse woodlands that we have ever known. In this journey from the English fens to Spain, Japan, and California, William Bryant Logan rediscovers what was once an everyday ecology. He offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.