Teaching the Trees
Teaching the Trees
Teaching the Trees
Teaching the Trees
Teaching the Trees

Teaching the Trees

University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia, 2005


In this collection of natural-history essays, biologist Joan Maloof embarks on a series of lively, fact-filled expeditions into forests of the eastern United States. Through Maloof’s engaging, conversational style, each essay offers a lesson in stewardship as it explores the interwoven connections between a tree species and the animals and insects whose lives depend on it—and who, in turn, work to ensure the tree’s survival.

Never really at home in a laboratory, Maloof took to the woods early in her career. Her enthusiasm for firsthand observation in the wild spills over into her writing, whether the subject is the composition of forest air, the eagle’s preference for nesting in loblolly pines, the growth rings of the bald cypress, or the gray squirrel’s fondness for weevil-infested acorns. With a storyteller’s instinct for intriguing particulars, Maloof expands our notions about what a tree is, through her many asides about the six species of leafhoppers that eat only sycamore leaves or the midges that live inside holly berries and somehow prevent them from turning red. As a scientist, Maloof accepts that trees have a spiritual dimension that cannot be quantified. As an unrepentant tree hugger, she finds support in the scientific case for biodiversity. As an activist, she can’t help but wonder how much time is left for our forests.

Juror Notes

As if on a stroll through a forest, the reader encounters full-bleed pages of insect and flower scenes at surprising intervals. The tall, skinny trim size is entirely appropriate, as are the windswept typeface and historically natural palette.

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2005
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
University of Georgia Press
Creative director
Sandra Strother Hudson
Art directors
Christa Frangiamore, Kathi Dailey Morgan
Kathi Dailey Morgan
Jacket designer
Erin Kirk New
John Abbott
Production director
Kathi Dailey Morgan
Production coordinator
Kathi Dailey Morgan
Production artist
Walton Harris
Picture editor
Christa Frangiamore
Joan Maloof
Project, Jon Davies; acquistions, Christa Frangiamore
Trim size
5 x 8.5 inches
Quantity printed
Walton Harris
Aldus with Lorrenne display
Jacket printer
Pinnacle Press
55 lb. EcoBook Natural 100PCW
Binding method
Notch bound
University of Georgia Press