THE BIOGRAPHY OF A TREE by James P. Jackson

THE BIOGRAPHY OF A TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A quiet, humorless paean to the White Oak, from acorn beginnings to decline and death in its third century. A lot happens in its 275+ year history, but the biography format, with its dramatic veneer, wears thin very quickly. The White Oak thrives in the cool, moist, well-drained valley floor, playing host to countless bird families and enduring natural adversities, including fire and beetles (""The beetle was only doing its job and if the Oak suffered, it suffered in silence""). Whippoorwills favor it as a singing perch; squirrels run over its branches; cicada nymphs emerge nearby every 17 years--not exactly a lively history. Towards the end, carpenter ants take up residence, weakening the interior, and then lightning strikes a final blow. Not much oomph in the telling, but each stage is photographed as well as every visitor, all the way through decomposition.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1978
ISBN: 0824602161
Publisher: Jonathan David