Growing Trees from Seed: A Practical Guide to Growing Native Trees, Vines, and Shrubs

Henry Kock, Author, Paul Aird, With, John Ambrose, Jr., With , with Paul Aird, John Ambrose and Gerald Waldron. Firefly $45 (280p) ISBN 978-1-55407-363-4

In this comprehensive coffee-table–sized guide, Kock, a Canadian horticulturist who died in 2005, not only shows how to find and propagate native woody plants but also helps readers “understand plants as members of communities of plants and animals rather than as isolated specimens.” He tells how to differentiate native plants from invasive exotics and how to collect, clean, germinate and plant seeds and set up a nursery, along with intriguing suggestions (keep a toad in a cold frame to eat slugs) and surprising facts (earthworms are not “native to the glaciated areas of North America, and contrary to popular gardening belief, they do a huge amount of damage by dragging undecomposed organic material into the soil, where it does not belong”). The book's focus is woody plants of the Great Lakes bioregion, but Koch assures that the techniques will apply to other regions and species as well. With beautifully detailed line drawings and color photographs, the book provides both inspiration and knowledge to “think like a seed... listen to the seed's story as written by the land and water where the seed was formed, and the wind, water, and animals that distribute it.” (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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