Elderflora review: A history of ancient trees is excellent in parts

A tour round the world’s oldest trees is a brilliant idea for a book, but its delivery can be pretty uneven


22 February 2023

This Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) in Nevada is more than 4000 years old

tayfun coskun/anadolu agency/getty images

Elderflora: A modern history of ancient trees
Jared Farmer (Picador)

WHEN the Hardy Tree in the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church finally fell in December last year, London lost a unique and much-loved landmark. This ash tree was surrounded by upstanding headstones that had been moved there in the 1860s to accommodate a new railway line. Legend has it that the arrangement was created by a young Thomas Hardy while he was working as …


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