Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet

Arboretum Borealis Arboretum Borealis University of Michigan Press

Diana Beresford-Kroeger

University of Michigan, 2010


Botanist and medical microbiologist Diana Beresford-Kroeger was inspired to write her fourth book to tell the world about the vital importance of the boreal forests, which ring the northern crown of our planet like a monk's tonsure, she says, the Arctic Circle being the bald spot.

The boreal forests enable our survival by cleaning our air as it moves across the face of the earth, nourishing our oceans, and managing its saline levels which, in turn, affect worldwide weather, hold the carbon dioxide in their soil, and give us water to drink. 

Beresford-Kroeger gives examples of the many trees in the boreal forests, along with a few other plants, which are crucial to the vitality of the planet.  With each description we learn about the precious medicine which can be extracted from the plant and the interplay of the tree's function and form. By learning about their role in holding in balance of the planet's ecology, we can better understand the necessity of preserving the boreal forest and appreciate its tremendous value in the interconnectedness of life.  Finally, Beresford-Kroeger helps us to appreciate the aesthetics of each tree and how to find its place in our own landscape.  Her husband, Christian Kroeger, contributes his exquisite photographs to accompany her passionate message.




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