Title: Trees of Power: Ten Essential Arboreal Allies
Author: Akiva Silver
Recommendation: Would definitely recommend! Buy it here.
This is one of the most inspiring and most practical books I have ever read. It begins and ends with powerful visions of a better world and provides philosophical foundations for a new, more wholesome way of looking at and relating to the universe. In between it is packed full of practical tools and strategies for building that world and creating those relationships in a way that leaves you feeling as though you can actually do something. Unlike many other inspirational books, this not only motivates you, but arms you with the tools to really do something. The book has two sections, the first is general techniques for propagating and caring for tree crops, and the second section highlights ten specific trees illustrating how and why we should be cultivating them.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in permaculture and tree crops, or anyone who feels down about society and about climate change and wants to know that there really is something we can do to fix it.
In this chapter, Akiva illustrates just how powerful trees can be. Trees and perennial systems can create all the food we need to maintain society with enough surplus to feed all kinds of diverse wildlife. They can rebuild healthy and adaptable ecosystems while still maintaining economic productivity and stability (money does grow on trees!). They can stop and even reverse climate change. And by working with trees, we can do all of these things without waiting for any government or financial institution, and we can reconnect with the infinite to achieve inner peace.
Concepts and Skills
Drawing on the experience from his nursery, Twisted Tree Farm, Akiva teaches the reader the most important things they need to know to start cultivating trees and tree-based systems. From propagation by seed, cuttings, layers, or grafts, to creating the right soil conditions and protecting from deer and other herbaceous predators, its all here.
This sections takes detailed looks at ten types of trees/shrubs and looks at the many ways we can work together to accomplish mutual goals. It looks at historic uses and cultivation, modern practices, wildlife value, and potential futures (among other things) for all of these unique and powerful beings. Described in detail are the following:
- Chestnut: The Bread Tree
- Apple: The Magnetic Center
- Poplar: The Homemaker
- Ash: Mater of Wood
- Mulberry: The Giving Tree
- Elderberry: The Caretaker
- Hickory: Pillars of Life
- Hazelnut: The Provider
- Black Locust: The Restoration Tree
- Beech: The Root Runner
Each of these trees has a unique personality and incredible potential, and it would do everyone well to familiarize themselves with them. Trees of Power is a great way to start on that journey of creating strong relationship with these trees.
The afterword is a powerful and poetic essay about our role as humans in the universe and our relationship to consciousness and all other beings. As Akiva says, all of creation are leaves of the same tree, fingers of the same hand. “All of existence is constantly melting and mixing into itself.” We can stay motivated by recognizing that everything is in flux, and that “our work is for beauty and experience. Let it be great. Life is for living.” Here, Akiva offers exercises for increasing our awareness and a vision for working with trees for a better, freer, more beautiful future. And an inspiring one at that.
Read this book. Seriously. This review will not do it justice. You can buy it from his website here.