- by Val Adolph
The tree species of the Riverview Lands are the basis of this book available from the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society, a group dedicated to preserving Riverview Lands. This well researched book gives us a deeper understanding of the place of trees in nature and in history and helps us appreciate their uniqueness. It is full of surprising information about the common trees of our forests and gardens. Many have medicinal value, some were used for food, but they were often believed to have magical powers. The Celts found trees so vital they based their alphabet and their calendar on them. The Christian religion placed a tree squarely in the middle of the Creation story (as did other religions).
Tales of the Trees reveals little known facts about our native trees and many other familiar trees from northern temperate zones. Trees give us shade and make our gardens lovelier. But they have meant far more than that to mankind throughout the ages. They have given our ancestors' food, medicine, housing, firewood for warmth and they have been central to many religions. Did you know that horse chestnuts produce a chemical used to cure sports injuries? Or that some World War II airplanes were made of spruce?
Tales of the Trees unearths the secrets of the ways people have used different trees throughout the ages. Each species of tree has its own unique make-up, and is used for different purposes. Maples, for instance, give us maple syrup. But did you know that a maple wood stake was best for driving into the heart of a vampire? Did you know that cedar oil was used in making Egyptian mummies? Or that one oak tree grew so large that a carriage drawn by four horses was driven through it.
The writer, Val Adolph, lives in North Delta. She has written many articles for publications in Canada and the USA and has authored several books, including co-writing The Riverview Lands: Western Canada First Botanical Garden.