Diana Beresford-Kroeger

“Trees to plant in Somerset”

** Click here for details of the trees Diana recommended in her talk **

DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER, a botanist, medical biochemist and self-defined “renegade scientist,” brings together ethnobotany, horticulture, spirituality and alternative medicine to reveal a path toward better stewardship of the natural world.

Diana’s latest book is called The Sweetness of a Simple Life.  A precise and poetic writer steeped in Gaelic storytelling traditions gathered from her childhood in Ireland, her previous books include The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet, Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest, A Garden for Life and a collection of stories, Time Will Tell.

In 2010, Diana was inducted as a Wings Worldquest Fellow.  The Utne Reader named her one of their Visionaries for 2011.  She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Christian H. Kroeger, surrounded by her research garden filled with rare and endangered species.

Please feel really welcome to explore her Wikipedia page which gives you a great account of her scientific achievements and background.  Here are some highlights:

  • Trees don’t just produce Oxygen (O2) when the breath out, they also produce a range of minute aerosol particles.  We didn’t get taught that at school!  In some instances these include compounds like asthmatics receive via ventoline inhalers.  Though when the trees do it, they also produce chemicals that relax the brain allowing us to be better able to calm and breathe in the compounds the reduce inflammation in our lungs.
  • These same aerosol particles are part of the ways that trees contribute towards cloud seeding.  We all know that clouds are attracted to trees, and possibly why some farmers in Wales plea for clever strategies that don’t attract more rain to their crops, and we knew that tree seeds were a component in some cloud formation.  But at this time of geo-engineering to ‘support’ the weather systems that actually trees have been doing this cloud seeding via medicinal minute particles feel very relevant.
  • Salicylic Acid is what we know of as Asprin derived from Willow bark. Diana’s research shows how many version of this compound are medicating the waterways via its solubility from the Willow tree bark and roots as it stretches along Somerset’s reams and rivers.  This contributes a highly beneficial effect to all the creatures living in that water, boosting immune systems and keeping river bed  life healthy.

The best thing to do is check out some of her publications that are read around the world.  We have listed a few in the page below.

Diana will be joining us, live by skype, from Canada, to share which trees she recommends for planting in Somerset and what medicines those trees can bring to this landscape.

She has also recently completed a documentary titled The Call of the Forest highlighting her work and also other great scientist from around the world.  It describes her experiences growing up in Ireland as well as delivering a call to action around reforestation.

Articles about Diana:

New York Times

In depth interview by Kika Thorn


  The Sweetness of a Simple Life: Tips for Healthier, Happier and Kinder Living from a Visionary Natural Scientist 

Diana’s new book where, to quote Amazon, ‘Diana Beresford-Kroeger convincingly interweaves her scientific expertise and her extensive knowledge of ancient aboriginal wisdom and practices, and a path into a saner and safer world seems to emerge, a path that is open to all. Part of the magic of the book is its practical accessibility.’

The Global Forest: Forty Ways Trees Can Save Us

Highly recommended and possible to buy in the UK.

Arboretum Borealis: A Lifeline of the Planet

A masterpiece discussing the contribution each tree makes to life on Earth.

Arboretum America: A Philosophy of the Forest

Uncovering what Diana call’s a Bioplan. The plan consists of how each of twenty different tree groups relates to its natural environment and how these specific trees can be used to promote health or to counteract the effects of pollution and global warming.

Links to video content and advice on collecting seeds and planting trees can also be found at the Call of the Forest website.  If you are in Canada you can also take advantage of her new Tree Planting App.

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