Peter Crane’s ‘biography’ of the Ginkgo, and the responses to it from around the country and world, are a reminder of how much there is to learn from and appreciate about a single species of tree. And the Ginkgo is well-known in comparison to tens of thousands of other tree species. Telling the story of a species — writing such biographies — puts a face on biodiversity and makes us pause and realize just how special and amazing each species is. We can’t see the forest for the trees unless we study ecosystems as wholes. But it is equally true that we can’t see the trees for the forest unless we tell the fascinating stories of each kind of tree, too.
Dean Crane’s piece on his recent book: