A Field Guide to the Urban Forest

Paul Wood

Well – they’re London planes, aren’t they? Everyone knows that?

In fact the magnificently green streets of London are in no way a monoculture – these days over 300 different species of tree grace its streets, from flowering fruit trees in Islington to giant redwoods in Edgware and even London’s first olive tree in Hackney.

Every London borough is different. There are indeed plane trees that go back to the building of the Embankment in the nineteenth century – but also new species around the capital that wonderfully reflect its modern multicultural vibrancy. Do you know why there are Australian silver wattle and bottlebrush trees in the streets of Pimlico? But until now there has been no book on this remarkable phenomenon. 

Paul Wood’s endlessly fascinating guide has attracted extensive media attention from ITV News to the Guardian’s Books of the Year. It will make everyone in London look at their own street in a new way.

Paul Wood writes the popular and unique blog on street trees, The Street Tree. He is a former Trustee of the London Wildlife Trust, and lives in London.

ISBN 978 0 9932911 3 5
160 x 160 mm

‘An easy to follow, thoroughly researched and detailed book, with enough depth for the tree enthusiasts among us as well as the casual observer. . . a worthwhile addition to any bookshelf’. Natural History Museum magazine

London's Street Trees Cover.jpg

‘For someone like me who is not a natural naturalist, the book reveals a previously unconsidered world situated just outside the front door, or at most only a bus ride away.’ Ian Jack, Guardian

‘A paean to London's street trees ... an urban safari of the capital's diverse tree life.’ Hampstead & Highgate Express 

‘[A] brilliant book that will appeal to everyone. Paul Wood’s handy guide is packed with insights... including photos... historical perspectives, messages about the vital role of street trees in promoting diversity. Moreover, the ongoing conflict in Sheffield gives this book an urgent topicality. This book gave me insights both into trees and into their place in the London scene. It is very definitely a worthy celebration of the urban forest.’ British Wildlife magazine

‘If I were a doctor, I would prescribe everyone a tree – to plant, to tend, to water, to clean the air, the summon birds and bees, to bring people together, to give time to stand and stare, to fall in love with. Because I can't do that, then I would advise them to read London’s Street Trees... a love song to the author’s favourite trees currently gracing the streets of London. Reading this book gives a wonderful sense of strolling the streets with the author and stopping to chat about each tree.’ Jonathan Tulloch, Tablet

‘...adds a fascinating new dimension to any walk through the city.’ Stephen Moss, Guardian Best Nature Books of  2017

Buy London’s Street Trees