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  • Writer's pictureShrikant Soman

Book Review - To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger

In "To Speak for the Trees," Diana Beresford-Kroeger weaves memoir and science, tracing her childhood trauma to a transformative bond with Celtic wisdom and ancient forests. Fueled by this connection, she becomes a scientist, uncovering trees' hidden communication, healing powers, and vital role in our planet's health. While some may find her blend of personal history and scientific fact unconventional, the book ultimately inspires appreciation for these silent giants and urges us to become their protectors in a warming world.

Strengths of "To Speak for the Trees":

Interweaving memoir and science: Beresford-Kroeger's personal journey of loss and connection to nature organically merges with her scientific discoveries about trees. This creates a powerful narrative that is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally resonant.

Unique perspective: Combining Celtic wisdom with cutting-edge science, Beresford-Kroeger offers a fresh and holistic understanding of trees and their role in the environment and human well-being.

Lyrical language: The author's prose is evocative and descriptive, bringing the reader into the heart of the forest and allowing them to experience the magic and complexity of trees firsthand.

Call to action: The book doesn't just celebrate trees; it also emphasizes the urgency of protecting them and their vital role in addressing climate change. Beresford-Kroeger inspires readers to become active stewards of the natural world.

Weaknesses of "To Speak for the Trees":

Subjectivity: Some readers may find the author's personal anecdotes and interpretations of Celtic lore intrusive or lacking in scientific rigor.

Occasional scientific jargon: While Beresford-Kroeger attempts to make complex scientific concepts accessible, certain passages may overwhelm readers unfamiliar with botanical terminology.

Uneven pacing: The book's structure, alternating between personal recollections and scientific research, can feel disjointed at times.

Overselling claims: Some of Beresford-Kroeger's claims about the healing power of trees and their ability to combat climate change might be considered exaggerated or lacking sufficient evidence.

Overall, "To Speak for the Trees" is a thought-provoking and inspiring book that is likely to resonate with anyone who appreciates the beauty and importance of trees. While it has some drawbacks, its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, making it a valuable addition to any environmentalist's bookshelf.


Diana Bernadette Beresford-Kroeger is an Irish botanist, medical biochemist, polymath, and author, who was born in Islington, England and resides near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She is known for her ability to bring an understanding and appreciation of the scientific complexities of nature to the general public.

Website of Diana


Details of the book

To Speak for the Trees: My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Canada (24 September 2019)

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0735275076

  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735275072

  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 430 g

  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.91 x 2.64 x 21.67 cm

  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA

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