Street Trees in Britain: A History [Paperback]

Mark Johnston (Author)

Regular Price: £39.95

Special Price: £14.95

ISBN: 9781911188230 | Published by: Windgather Press | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 352p, H246 x W185 (mm) 98

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Street Trees in Britain


The trees which line many of the streets in our towns and cities can often be regarded as part of a heritage landscape. Despite the difficult conditions of an urban environment, these trees may live for 100 years or more and represent ‘living history’ in the midst of our modern streetscapes. This is the first book on the history of Britain’s street trees and it gives a highly readable, authoritative and often amusing account of their story, from the tree-lined promenades of the seventeenth century to the majestic boulevards that grace some of our modern city centres. The impact of the Victorian street tree movement is examined, not only in the major cities but also in the rapidly developing suburbs that continued to expand through the twentieth century. There are fascinating descriptions of how street trees have helped to improve urban conditions in spa towns and seaside resorts and also in visionary initiatives such as the model villages, garden cities, garden suburbs and new towns. While much of the book focuses on the social and cultural history of our street trees, the last three chapters look at the practicalities of how these trees have been engineered into concrete landscapes. This includes the many threats to street trees over the years, such as pollution, conflict with urban infrastructure, pests and diseases and what is probably the greatest threat in recent times – the dramatic growth in car ownership. Street Trees in Britain will have particular appeal to those interested in heritage landscapes, urban history and the natural and built environment. Some of its themes were introduced in the author’s previous work, the widely acclaimed Trees in Towns and Cities: A History of British Urban Arboriculture.

Reviews & Quotes

"This book is therefore timely and should contribute to the important current debates that affect street planting and management. It is the product of a lifetime working and teaching in the arboricultural sector and includes much new information that has arisen from the author's original research on primary sources."
David Brown
Garden History (18/07/2018)

"The heritage of street trees in Britain is complex, valuable, and in some cases, highly amusing… [it] will appeal to individuals with a strong interest in heritage landscapes, as well as the natural and built environment."

Arborist News (ISA) (01/12/2017)

"…a thoughtful and timely account of our ‘green heritage’ landscape. […] This book was clearly a labour of love on a topic that was, until recently, largely ignored. I found this book to be a celebration of what we all have in common: childhoods spent in woods and parks, our leafy suburbs, sitting on a bench under a shady tree. Highly recommended."
Leigh Stanford
Save Britain's Heritage

"...a highly readable, authoritative and often amusing account ...packed with insight and information, and is well-illustrated in black and white."
Ian D. Rotherham
Arboricultural Journal (18/07/2018)

"….will be of both interest and value to many: urban foresters, landscape historians, landscape architects and planners, and also the layman, as Dr Johnston's clear inclusive writing style makes this a good read. But, Street Trees in Britain is also a wake-up call - one we need to heed to improve our streets and make changes for the benefit of subsequent generations."
Sharon Hosegood
Chartered Forester Magazine (03/04/2018)

"…a well-written and closely researched book… should be a part of every urban forester’s and town planner’s library."
Brian Crane
The Horticulturalist (10/08/2018)

"Overall this book provides an incredibly valuable and fascinatingly illustrated account of the history and diversity of a significant aspect of Britain’s urban forest and its contribution to the urban landscape."
Michael Hopkins
Urban Morphology (24/09/2018)

"a very informative and enjoyable history of British street planting…This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in street trees. It is easy to read…I greatly enjoyed this book and look forward to the author’s next work."
Simon Stuart
Scottish Forestry (02/01/2018)

"Street Trees in Britain is a book for the arboriculturist, for the urban forester, the historian and above all, in this reviewer’s opinion, the enthusiast… The book is illustrated beautifully with an array of historical photographs, postcards and engravings. These compliment the text, together giving testimony to the tremendous research undertaken to produce this publication."
Stephen Woollard
Quarterly Journal of Forestry (30/07/2018)

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