Nature’s Temples

A Natural History of Old-Growth Forests Revised and Expanded

Joan Maloof | 2023

Standing in an old-growth forest, you can instinctively sense the ways it is different from forests shaped by humans. These ancient, undisturbed ecosystems are increasingly rare and largely misunderstood. Nature’s Temples explores the science and alchemy of old-growth forests and makes a compelling case for their protection.

Many foresters are proponents of forest management, while ecologists and conservation biologists believe that the healthiest forests are those we leave alone. Joan Maloof brings together the scientific data we have about old-growth forests, drawing on diverse fields of study to explain the ecological differences among forests of various ages. She describes the life forms and relationships that make old-growth forests unique—from salamanders and micro-snails to plants that communicate through fungi—and reveals why human attempts to manage forests can never replicate nature’s sublime handiwork.

This revised and expanded edition also sheds new light on the special role forests play in removing carbon from the atmosphere and shares what we know about the interplay between wildfires and ancient forests.

With drawings by Andrew Joslin that illustrate scientific concepts and capture the remarkable beauty of ancient trees, Nature’s Temples invites you to discover the power of these fragile realms that are so inextricably connected to our planet, our fellow species, and our spirits.


Maloof, J. (2023) Nature’s Temples: A Natural History of Old-Growth Forests Revised and Expanded. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

The Hidden Company That Trees Keep

Life from Treetops to Root Tips

James B. Nardi | 2023

A spectacularly illustrated journey into the intimate communities that native trees share with animals, insects, fungi, and microbes.

You can tell a lot about a tree from the company it keeps. James Nardi guides you through the innermost unseen world that trees share with a wondrous array of creatures. With their elaborate immune responses, trees recruit a host of allies as predators and parasites to defend against uninvited advances from organisms that chew on leaves, drain sap, and bore into wood.

Microbial life thrives in the hidden spaces of leaf scales, twigs, and bark, while birds, mammals, and insects benefit from the more visible resources trees provide. In return, animals help with pollination, seed dispersal, and recycling of nutrients. The Hidden Company That Trees Keep blends marvelous storytelling with beautiful illustrations and the latest science to reveal how the lives of trees are intertwined with those of their diverse companions.

  • Features a wealth of richly detailed drawings accompanied by breathtaking images of microscopic landscapes on leaf, bark, and root surfaces.
  • Includes informative fact boxes.
  • Draws on new discoveries in biology and natural history.
  • Written by one of the world’s leading naturalists.

Nardi: “No one expressed our disparate as well as shared heritage with these fellow
creatures in more lyrical and moving terms than the writer-naturalist Henry
Beston (1928):

In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.”


Nardi, J. (2023) The Hidden Company That Trees Keep: Life from Treetops to Root Tips. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.