Fast moving and not overly technical, the tale of "Witness Tree" takes us down the path of bio-geographic research, particularly as it pertains to trees. Long-lived as they are, today's trees are likely to encounter unprecedented conditions as they age. The story takes place at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA, one of the most studied forests in the world. Much of the institution's historical research is at the center of today's inquiries into climate futures and, of course, the future of the world's vegetation. Researchers from multiple disciplines bring their specialties there, including some top-level canopy research by highly skilled tree-climbers. Author Lynda Mapes provides a storyteller's insight into the results. My only reservation about the book is that Mapes' adopted oak is far less of a focus than I expected, while the trees as a group take center stage. Nonetheless, it was a great read and inspired me to visit Harvard Forest again.
Read this book if you are interested in: Climate futures, the future of today's trees and forests, science research at Harvard Forest, tree-climbing.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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