Elisabeth C. Miller Library

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #140

Cottonwood and the River of Time by Reinhard F. Stettler, 2009

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2011-10-01

Cottonwood and the River of Time by Reinhard Stettler explores an unlikely topic, cottonwood trees and their kin including poplars and aspens. A retired University of Washington professor of forestry, the author writes an engaging natural history beginning with a single tree, an old matriarch near the Snoqualmie River. While eventually global in scope, many of the examples continue to be set in the Pacific Northwest.

While many of the titles from the middle chapters may look a bit dull, e.g., "Natural Hybridization" and "Adaptation and Its Limits", the writing is quite engaging and aimed at a general audience. The book concludes with cultural history of poplars--the importance of poplars in agriculture, forestry, and landscapes.

Excerpted from the Fall 2011 Arboretum Bulletin.

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