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Out of the Woods: The Armchair Guide to Trees
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Out of the Woods: The Armchair Guide to Trees

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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Can you identify that tree outside the window? Probably not. Most of us don’t know an oak from a sycamore, let alone a beech from a birch. This study is an affectionate, convivial introduction to Britain’s trees, in which Will Cohu provides a revelatory ramble through country and city, from woodlands of majestic oak and ash to mean streets lined with cherries. With ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 6th 2007 by Short Books
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  72 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Anthony
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
No, not Stephen Sondheim's musical take on Grimm's faery tales ('Into the Woods') but a user's guide to trees. And I do not mean this caninely. Who would have thought that you could be funny, witty and interesting about bark, leaves and trunks? Well, here is the answer. You will never pass a tree again without lifting a mental leg in appreciation.
Josephine
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Really enjoyed this to begin with, although the format got a little samey and so many trees were covered I started to get confused. I appreciated the unusual descriptive passages about the trees and agree that many don't fit the pristine format of a guidebook - maybe you need this book and a guide book as well to compare. I enjoyed the chapters on wood for fires, and the one on pollarding and keeping trees neat and exact for our 'city' lives.
Reg Howard
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Why is it that cookery books and children's books can be lavishly illustrated and a picture can paint a thousand words, but 'serious' paperbacks have to rely on a few photos stuck in a section that you have to keep annoyingly flick through to, and which do not do justice to the breadth of the text?
Ainsley
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly enjoyable book combining masses of interesting facts, both scientific and historical, richly intertwined with bits of folklore and lovely descriptive prose. A great incentive to simply open your eyes when next out walking or driving. It is rare to find a book which manages to convey so much information in such an entertaining way.
Sarak77
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author's stated intention is to fill an gap in the tree book market and he largely succeeds. The book is informative and fun to read, with amusing revision quizzes at the end of every chapter, although a few footnotes and some more illustrations wouldn't go amiss.
Gareth Culshaw
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
brilliant book to get you started on knowing trees....
Brian Robbins
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: natural-world
The book achieved what it set out to do, to be a very deliberately amateur, nature taster's, "armchair guide to trees". I found much of it of interest, particularly the earlier chapters on native trees. There were useful identification points e.g. the likeness of a bare sycamore to the structure of a cauliflower. I found the later chapters on urban planted trees less good - too much of a rapid whistle-stop tour of a great variety of non-native and cultivated varieties.

I used to enjoy some of the
...more
Drew Pyke
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Looked forward to this book for the potential of learning all the trees in our British countryside. I was disappointed because the identification techniques were very vague and in some cases confusing. It would be easier to get an ID book and references the images instead. He did try with the use of a walk-in-the-wild narrative to weave the trees into some form of sequence, but it never worked (would be easier to group them into families maybe or trees of similarity). The saving grace was the ...more
Andrew Cox
An easy, interesting & enjoyable introduction to trees. I suspect I saw Will Cohu give a lecture which was basically the outline for this book as I felt a familiarity with this book, as if I had read it before, although I don't think I have.

At times it is a little basic, but of course it is an armchair guide with no expectation from its audience of prior knowledge. I am sure a walk in the woods with Will Cohu would be an absolute delight.
Paul
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2013
A gentle wander through a series of metaphorical woodlands.

It is not an in depth book, by any means, but it is pleasant read none the less. The book covers all native and most non native trees that you could come across whilst strolling through different places where trees live.

Didn't quite get the quizzes all the way through, but loved the pictures in the books.
Jamie
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it

Lovely poetic descriptions throughout but with a lack of imagery I kept becoming distracted into looking up just exactly what these trees looked like. The illustrations that are in the book though are perfect - a woodcut/print style giving enough of an idea without being too literal. It Just needed more of these (or a companion webpage...?)
Mew
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This isn't a "how to" guide to spotting trees - it's better than that. I loved the poetic meanderings through the British countryside (and towns) noticing and observing trees and their behaviours. Beautiful.
Jeff Van Campen
Oct 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
A peripatetic guide to the trees of Britain. The organizing principle is an imagined walk in the countryside. A quick read with a few interesting nuggets of information.
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Will Cohu was born in Yorkshire in 1964. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, from 1992 he freelanced as writer, editor and journalist, mostly for the Daily Telegraph. His books include Urban Dog (2001) and Out of the Woods (2007). He has been twice short-listed for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Award. His memoir, The Wolf Pit, was published in 2012 and shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize. ...more