Touchwood Books New Books on Trees

1 Kauri
Keith Stewart
Hardback, 192 pages, NZ, 2008. $60

>From the time before humans arrived in New Zealand to pre-European Maori society to its use as a source of timber for building waka, ships and churches, to the profitable gum trade - kauri has an intriguing history that has been largely untold. Keith Stewart is fascinated by kauri and is passionate about telling its story. He felt compelled to write this comprehensive book, covering the complete botanical, cultural and commercial history of kauri in New Zealand. As one of largest trees in the world, kauri is a natural wonder and a New Zealand icon.

“Kauri” delves into aspects of the tree that are often skimmed over: its spiritual role in Maori society; its commercial role in the timber trade and the cost of that trade on kauri forests; its use as a strong, pliable timber for craft and furniture making. Stewart also provides intriguing facts on kauri trees of particular importance, e.g. Tane Mahuta in Northland's Waipoua forest. At 51 metres (169 feet) in height with a circumference of 13.8 metres (45 feet) it is New Zealand's largest living kauri. There is no proof of the tree's age, but it is estimated to be between 1250 and 2500 years old.

2 Treehouse Living - 50 Innovative Designs
Alain Laurens, Daniel DuFour, Ghislain André and La Cabane Perchée
Photographs by Vincent Thfoin
Hardback, 215 pages, 240 x 290mm, USA, 2007. $75

>From the cover -

A renewed passion for nature, rising environmental consciousness, and new building techniques and materials have created a burst of imaginative treehouse construction on every continent. Alain Laurens is Europe's leading treehouse architect, and his company 'La Cabane Perchée' - 'The Treehouse Aloft'- has an international reputation for strong design, extraordinary workmanship and materials, and ecological responsibility.

“Treehouse Living” presents fifty innovative treehouses, from romantic platforms to full-scale dwellings, all built without driving a single nail into a tree or cutting a single large branch. A treehouse can be a lofty porch for entertaining and relaxing; a secluded bedroom amid rustling leaves; an intimate setting for dining; a vantage point that creates a spectacular view; and a fantasy come to life. “Treehouse Living” offers a new way of living well in nature.