This is a beautiful book to hold, to leaf through, to have on a bookshelf. It is one of those books that a tree lover/book lover will just have to own.
This is also a practical book, an invaluable guide for farmers, orchardists, or indeed anyone with a little land on which they want to plant trees. It will appeal, too, to tree lovers who live in the city even though the book's accent is decidedly rural.
The book is divided into 12 chapters starting with a useful well-illustrated 21 pages on planting design by Diane Lucas, a successful South Island rural landscape architect. Other chapters discuss shelter, shade, trees for bees, trees for birds, planting etc.
Two particularly useful sections discuss exotic and native species suitable for rural plantings.
The authors know their subject. They are well-known farm foresters (John Mortimer is president of the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association) their property on the outskirts of Hamilton is eloquent evidence of their expertise with trees.
The book contains detailed descriptions of the origin, habit, uses, planting and propagations of more than 300 species, both native and introduced.
It is well illustrated (all trees in full colour), well designed and is overall a pleasant book to have, whether your interest is in trees in general or you have a specific project in mind.