Witty, Dave

A stunning meditation on the remarkable insights that Australia’s trees can offer into our past.  The trees around us — some we may walk past every day — tell a story. The mallee box by the twelfth hole of North Adelaide Golf Course evokes a time when Adelaide was clothed in mallee scrub and desert senna. Brisbane’s remnant blue gum, growing by the botanic gardens, indicates a time when the city was once jungle. The river red gums of Melbourne bear the scars of Aboriginal craftmanship. Mangroves, Leichhardt trees, acacias, eucalypts, foxtails…together, they inspire a narrative that jumps from Burke and Wills to sugar slaves, Empress Josephine to Johnny Flinders. Eucalypts reveal lost cultures and lost children. Cabbage palms tell of incomparable migrations. In the spirit of Bob Gilbert’s Ghost Trees and Don Watson’s The Bush, this book explores how our trees hold our history and reveal it to us.

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Monash University Publishing, November 2023.  256 pages, paperback.