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Trees of the West
Book Review
From Hiking For Her

By Diane Spicer

Read Hiking For Her's Trees of the West book review for insight on how to connect with nature in a new way as a hiker. #bookreview #hikingbooks #hikingforher

This Trees of the West book review unpacks Molly Hashimoto's book entitled Trees of the West: An Artist's Guide.

  • You can read the October 2022 press release here.

Hiking For Her received a copy of this book from the publisher Mountaineers Books, and agreed to write a free and impartial review.

Trees of the West book review details

This hardcover book contains 192 pages and over 130 illustrations by Molly Hashimoto.

Sit down with this book to savor 46 trees species when the weather or your schedule locks you indoors.

The avenues are many:

  • Natural history
  • Ethnobotanical notes
  • Anecdotes from the author

The West offers a hiker a wealth of tree diversity

This book organizes biogeographical regions of the west in this way:

  • Northern coastal and Cascade forests
  • California redwoods
  • Woodlands
  • California coastal forests, chaparral and scrub
  • Rocky Mountain forests
  • Giant sequoia groves
  • Subalpine forests
  • Deserts

That's a remarkable diversity of tree habitats, when you really look at that list.

You'll become familiar with them all in this book, in an inviting and pleasing way under Molly's expert guidance.

Tree art and poetry

In addition to the factual information about each tree species, use this book to soak up art techniques from a celebrated nature-inspired artist.

Molly shares details about the methods and materials she used to create the art in this book.

  • Pencil sketches
  • Watercolors (with tips on how to mix colors)
  • Printmaking
  • Etching

My favorite: Douglas-fir drybrush, because I live where this tree is dominant. It's a new way to look closely at an old friend.

More inspiration for your creative side
as a hiker

This book goes even further to show you trees from interesting perspectives.

Sprinkled throughout are tree-related poems and quotes to honor and celebrate our towering brethren.

I'm using them to discover new-to-me writers, or revisit some old favorites.

Might be a fun way for you to use this book, too!

My favorite bit of wisdom on page 125, by John Fowles:

"In some mysterious way woods

have never seemed to me to be static things.

In physical terms, I move through them;

yet in metaphysical ones,

they seem to move through me."

Trees of the West book review:
how to use this book
as a hiker or gift giver

There are many ways to use a hiking trail.

The traditional approach: use a trail to go from point A to point B, getting some fresh air and exercise along the way.

And maybe notice a tree or two along the way (especially if it's lying across the trail after a windstorm).

Female hiker with backpack looking at trees on trailOr you can get on the trail to discover and visit with the tree species all around you

Think of this book as a guidebook devoted to trees!

If you have a budding artist in your midst, feed their development with a copy of this book.

  • Better yet, gift the book and then take her to meet some of these tree species on a hike! Bring a sketch pad and pencils.

I think this would make a wonderful gift for hikers who can no longer get out there on a trail, but would like to remain close to the natural world.

Anyone who teaches children could use Trees of the West to develop lesson plans which integrate art, history, literature and science.

And don't neglect the artist, poet and tree lover residing within your own heart. Gift yourself this lovely hardback and pull it out when dark days descend.

Trail Tip

Use this book to create a bucket list of hikes.

It's guaranteed to bring you to places most other hikers do not visit, seeing the trail through tree eyes.

Trees of the West book review

Use your off trail time and this book to feed your passion for the natural world.

You can enjoy good memories of favorite Western regions, and discover new ones to explore, as you turn the pages.

Immerse yourself in the art, poetry and quotes - and maybe feel your fingers get itchy for a paintbrush or pencil!

If this type of book fascinates you, be sure to read my review of Molly Hashimoto's Birds of the West.

Thanks to Mountaineers Books for sending this book my way.

It's an enjoyable immersion in trees with multiple facets sure to please any hiker.

See it on Amazon right now!

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Trees of the West Book Review