Goose Lane Edition’s The Great Trees of New Brunswick (2nd Edition) is both a field guide, reference book and gift book all-in-one. It is full of beautiful photographs by Arielle DeMerchant, and it includes a map of the province showing where the trees are located, and why the particular tree is a fine specimen of its kind. It includes many trees that were not included in the first edition published in 1987, which was authored by the late David Folster.
What was missing from the original Great Trees book were many of our 32 native tree species — there were no yellow, white or grey birch for instance. There were no black spruce, black cherry, black ash, or black willow, no red or silver maple, no beech, butternut, bur oak, balsam poplar or balsam fir, and no trembling aspen, tamarack or jack pine.
The Great Trees of New Brunswick also has a direct connection to the Miramichi: one of its co-authors, Tracy Glynn, grew up in the Miramichi area and currently lives in Fredericton where she teaches at UNB and St. Thomas University.
Her early environment had a definite influence on her. Tracy states: “My love and desire to protect nature developed at an early age due to growing up on a small farm surrounded by the forest and wildlife.” Besides her teaching responsibilities, Tracy was also the forest campaigner for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick from 2006 to 2018. If anyone is familiar with New Brunswick and its huge and diversified tree population, it’s Tracy. When the other co-author, David Palmer approached the Conservation Council about creating a second edition of the book, Tracy “jumped at the opportunity.” Tracy recalls: “I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the trees of New Brunswick.”
One tree that will be familiar to many in the Miramichi area is the Millerton Basswood (pictured). At 21.5 meters (approx. 70ft.), it towers over the house it stands in front of.
Each tree specimen is discussed as to its defining features, habitat and range, uses, and outlook as to its future as well as its susceptibility to insects and disease.
Does Tracy have a favourite tree? She does, but it’s not one in the book: “My favourite tree in the Miramichi area is an eastern white pine found on the road where I grew up in Weldfield. It’s not one of the greatest white pines found in the book but it’s very special to me. My siblings, cousins and the neighbours’ kids would often race to the tree and we would pick berries around the tree. The sun setting behind the tree is a beautiful sight that still makes me stop in awe.”
The Great Trees of New Brunswick is an extremely useful guide to many of this provinces’ trees and is the result of an enormous amount of research (and leg work) to seek out the greatest examples of the many varieties of trees here in New Brunswick. It would be an ideal gift for any naturalist, woodsman or environmentally conscious person. I’m adding this fine book to the 2019 longlist for a “The Very Best!” Book Award for Non-Fiction.
The Great Trees of New Brunswick (2nd Edition) by David Palmer and Tracy Glynn
Goose Lane Editions
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(Photograph of the Millerton Basswood used by permission of Arielle DeMerchant. Photo of Tracy Glynn used by permission of Jon MacNeil)
James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. James works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane and their tabby cat Eddie.