Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Wild Trees

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The Wild Trees

A Story of Passion and Daring

by Richard Preston

The Wild Trees by Richard Preston X
The Wild Trees by Richard Preston
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 320 pages
    Feb 2008, 320 pages


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Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Wild Trees

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Did you know?

  • The coast redwood is the largest and tallest individual living organism on the planet. The edible fungus known as honey mushroom, or Armillaria, is is far larger (the largest known mass occupies 300 square miles of the Blue Mountains) but doesn't qualify as an "individual" organism.

  • In most trees the branches are smaller at the top than at the bottom. Redwoods are the opposite, becoming increasingly complex with increasingly massive branch structures at the top.

  • Humans are the only primates who, as a species, don't spend time in trees.

  • The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world - that we know of.

  • The largest tree in Jedediah Smith state park is said to be the Stout Tree, but Michael Taylor, who has been searching for the world's tallest trees for as long as Sillett has been climbing them, has found at least 50 trees larger in Jedediah Smith state park alone. To protect these vulnerable trees, their locations are known only to a handful of scientists.

Richard Preston is the author of seven books, including The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, The Demon in the Freezer and Wild Trees; and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and he's won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Physics Award and the National Magazine Award. He lives outside New York City with his wife and children. His next book will be published in May 2008: Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science. More.

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This "beyond the book article" relates to The Wild Trees. It originally ran in June 2007 and has been updated for the February 2008 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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