This beautifully written book tells the story of Australia's giant eucalypt, the Mountain Ash, which grows in the region north and east of Melbourne. A single tree can reach a height of 120 feet in 20 years, making it the tallest hardwood in the world. While celebrating the steep, wet, dense eastern forests of Australia, Tom Griffiths shows that they can be far from benign. Dependent on fire for their survival, this awesome natural vegetation can become a source of destruction, forcing people to confront their relationship with the bush. Visited seasonally by indigenous people and later a site of mining and sawmilling for settlers, as well as contested ground for conservationists, the life cycles and fire cycles of the forests span millennia. Tom Griffiths tells the environmental, ecological and social history of a unique Australian forest, and, in doing so, tells the story of the continent as a whole.
'Griffiths' research work has clear and practical applications ... Griffiths brings special insights into understanding forests.' The Age 'Forests of Ash is informative and engaging. Readers will be taken by the fiery content and thought-provoking prose.' Bary Dowling, The Sunday Age 'Griffiths writes with a good novelist's craftsmanship and sensitivity.' Canberra Times ' ... a profoundly enjoyable work, illustrated both in colour and in black and white (neither of which is any kind of pun).' Australian Book Review ' ... well illustrated ... This book is a pleasure to read and is likely to appeal to both specialist and general audiences.' The Agricultural History Review