This Tiny Folio presents, in modern taxonomic order, all 277 of the hand-colored plates from François-André Michaux’s classic North American Sylva, as well as the supplemental volumes by Thomas Nuttall.
These masterworks of nineteenth-century botanical illustration—by such artists as Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Pancrace Bessa—represent the leaves, fruit, and flowers of American trees with wonderful grace and clarity. Published in cooperation with the New York Botanical Garden, The Trees of North America includes a preface and introduction describing how Michaux and Nuttall’s pioneering work came to be.
Michaux and Redouté's American Masterpiece
A remarkable selection of American forest trees surveyed by François-André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall from The North American Sylva, held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden, featuring illustrations by celebrated botanical artists such as Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Pancrace Bessa, with an afterword by natural history artist David Allen Sibley
François-André Michaux (1770–1855) was a French botanist whose work on the trees of North America gave the world’s first illustrated account of American trees east of the Mississippi. From 1841 to 1849 Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859), an English botanist and one of the greatest plant explorers of North America, prepared supplementary volumes to Michaux’s landmark work, The North American Sylva.
Full-color reproductions of all of the more than 270 plates are now included in a single volume for the first time. Mirroring Abbeville’s best-selling National Audubon Society Birds of America, the book includes capsule summaries of every tree species featured, written by New York Botanical Garden staff, along with reference illustrations by David Allen Sibley.
Garden President Gregory Long looks at the book in the context of the New York Botanical Garden; NYBG Library Director Susan M. Fraser examines this landmark of American botanical history; award-winning garden writer Marta McDowell recounts the two botanist-explorers uncovering the continent’s arboreal riches; and best-selling ornithologist and natural history artist David Allen Sibley offers an aesthetic appreciation.
Beautifully illustrated and extensively researched, The Trees of North America will entice gardeners, art connoisseurs, and nature lovers alike.
The New York Botanical Garden hosts more than one million annual visitors to its 250-acre National Historic Landmark site, which features over one million living specimens, as well as one of the world’s preeminent plant research and conservation programs. Founded in 1899, the Garden’s Mertz Library is one of the largest, most comprehensive botanical libraries in the world.
David Allen Sibley is one of the world’s best-known natural history illustrators and the author of acclaimed field guides, including The Sibley Guide to Trees, which have sold more than one million copies.
Gregory Long is Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden.
Susan M. Fraser is Vice President and Director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at The New York Botanical Garden.
Marta McDowell is a gardener, lecturer, and horticultural writer. Her books include All the Presidents’ Gardens (2016) and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life (2013), winner of the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association.