New Member Writing a Book

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New Member Writing a Book

Post by AmyStewart » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:14 pm

Hi everybody,

I joined this board in the hopes of connecting with some tree-obsessed people and possibly finding a few people I might interview for a book I'm writing. I hope it's OK for me to post the information here. I'd love to hear from you if you or someone you know might be a good fit.

I'm just beginning the research for a new book called The Tree Collectors: Tales of Arboreal Obsession, to be published by Random House. I'll be writing profiles of 50 or so people from around the world who collect trees, focusing on what they collect and why.

My definition of a "tree collector" is an individual person who builds a collection for their own interest and pleasure, much as a person might collect books or baseball cards. A tree collection is more than a well-landscaped estate: I'm looking for people whose collections are centered on trees, and who have particular areas of interest or reasons for collecting.

I might include a few professionals such as people who work at arboreta, conservationists, plant breeders, nursery owners, etc, but for the most part, I'm interested in people who maintain their own private tree collections. (I will include some sidebars on arboreta, public gardens, nurseries, and other places people can visit, but I won't be primarily focused on public tree collections.)

There are other forms of "collecting," such as projects to catalog urban trees, seed collection efforts, etc. that will be included as sidebars as well.

I want the book to be global and diverse in scope, which is to say that I hope to include tree collectors from all parts of the world, and I very much want to find women tree collectors, and people of color and indigenous people.

I will include a few posthumous entries--a few tree collectors who are no longer with us but should be included regardless--but mostly I'm looking for living people I can interview.

About me: I'm the author of many books, including several award-winning bestsellers about horticulture, such as The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. Feel free to visit my website at to find out more.

Please do feel free to pass this message on. Anyone can get in touch directly at

Many thanks!


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Re: New Member Writing a Book

Post by BeeEnvironment2020 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 6:44 pm

Hi Amy!

Well, welcome to the Eastern Native Tree Society! I do believe you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for here. There are dozens of great members ranging from many different aspects of trees, nature, and forestry. Bob Leverett, Brian (bbeduhn), Elijah Whitcomb, Erik Danielsen, Ray Asselin, among many countless others, are very educated in this field.

I hope other members here will like to contribute. I, myself, as a high-schooler in the progress, have found the ENTS to be very helpful.


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Re: New Member Writing a Book

Post by AmyStewart » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:11 pm

Thanks so much! Glad to have found this group.

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Re: New Member Writing a Book

Post by dbhguru » Sat Oct 16, 2021 8:15 am


We wish you well with your book. Others will need to speak for themselves, but I see myself as a collector of trees that are already growing in the landscape - mainly trees that started growing naturally. Understandably, I don't think that fits with what you have in mind, but when I walk in a forest or in a park, I think of individual trees as being arboreal friends. They form a kind of collection, I suppose. I sometimes assign names to them - all in good fun.

I'm on the tree committee of Smith College, or was before the pandemic. The campus is an arboretum and was designed, I think, by Frederick Law Olmstead's firm. Trees are tagged, and cared for, of course. However, there are a few wooded corridors on the campus that are naturally seeded. The trees in these places existed almost unnoticed before I got involved. I like to think that I've influenced the arborists working for the college to appreciate these "wild trees". The new attention does not diminish the importance of the planted ones or change the function of the arboretum, but is intended to create a little room for noticing and appreciating the trees that seed in on their own.

Just thought I'd share a few thoughts with you, and again, good luck on your very worthy book project.

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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