Skip to Content
The splendour of the tree: an illustrated history

The splendour of the tree: an illustrated history

Kingsbury, Noël, author; Jones, Andrea, 1960- illustrator

Written by Dr Noel Kingsbury - a world-class expert on plants and the environment - this book celebrates the wonder, mystery, beauty, and utility of the tree. It pays homage to 100 key species of tree - chosen for their cultural, economic, or historical signicance and their importance in the natural world - and includes an indispensable cultivation section that advises on the care and selection of trees for the home garden

Hardback, Book. English.
Published London: Frances Lincoln, 2014

No availability records for this item


Statement of responsibility: Noel Kingsbury ; photographed by Andrea Jones
ISBN: 0711235805, 9780711235809
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 288 pages : illustrations (colour) ; 30 cm
Subject: Trees.; Popular Science.; Popular Science and Mathematics.

Author note

NOEL KINGSBURY is a leading exponent of contemporary naturalistic planting design. He contributes regularly to The Garden, Homes and Gardens, Hortus and the English Garden and writes occasional pieces for many other magazines and newspapers including the Financial Times and Country Life.

ANDREA JONES is one of the world's foremost garden photographers, having built up an international reputation for her photographs of landscape architecture, gardens and plants. The latter was the subject of Andrea's critically acclaimed solo book Plantworlds (2005). She has collaborated on numerous other book projects since Bold Plants and Grasses and Bamboos, both by Noel Kingsbury (1999). Andrea's collection of work forms the stock library Garden Exposures and appears in the international press including Gardens Illustrated, Garden Design (USA), House and Garden and The Daily Telegraph. Based in Scotland, Andrea is a Fellow of the RSA and exhibits her work around the world having had several successful solo exhibitions in both the UK and US. In 2008/9 she was voted Photographer of the Year by her peers in the UK's Garden Media Guild.


'Stunning Images'

House and Garden||

'This may be the most restful book published this year. Simply turning its pages sends you into a meditative trance. Kingsbury provides the words and the academic heft, but it's Jones's photos that will make you purr. She photographs trees as though you have chanced upon them on a particularly fortuitous country walk, in perfect weather, with no one else around and no cowpats to step in. Many of these trees look as though they could tell you a story or two if you stuck around long enough. Their beauty will warm the cockles of the coldest winter heart.'

Daily Mail 'Illustrated Books of the Year'||

'An innovative structure for this visually arresting study.'

Daily Telegraph||

'A captivating new book pays homage to the wonder, mystery and splendour of our trees.'

The Lady||

'This illustrated history of the tree pays homage to 100 key species.'


'This splendid book pays homage to arguably, the most significant life form on Earth - the noble tree. The Splendour of the Tree is a feast - both a visual feast due to the breathtaking images captured by photographer, Andrea Jones, and a factual feast as a result of the fascinating histories that renowned plant expert Dr Noel Kingsbury provides on these vital living treasures. A fine literary addition for any natural history fan.'

BBC Country File Magazine||

'Some of the trees profiled in this book are a reminder of the splendour that they attain when given opportunities to achieve their full potential. Noel Kingsbury's text is both entertaining and authoritative. Andrea Jones's exquisite photographs capture the character of most subjects. An interesting and useful book.'

Gardens Illustrated||

'The historic, economic, ecological and cultural significance - not to mention general majesty - of 100 key species of tree from around the world has been investigated by environmental expert Noel Kingsbury, and brought together in this coffee-table-format reference book, with photograph by Andrea Jones.' 

Homes & Gardens||

'With beautiful photography by Andrea Jones, The Splendour of the Tree, by plant expert Noel Kingsbury, analysis the cultural, historic and economic significance of 100 key species of tree and their role in the ecosystem.'

Period Living