California has more trees now than at any time since the late Pleistocene. And it comes as no surprise to residents of the San Joaquin Valley that our cultivation of trees has played a defining role in shaping the California we know today.
In his new book “Trees in Paradise” author Jared Farmer looks at California's rich history as told through its trees – and specifically four types of trees – redwoods, citrus, eucalyptus and palms. In it he draws some fascinating connections between our trees and our culture, from our attitudes towards immigrants to the birth of California’s environmental movement and the very picture of the California dream itself.
Recently on Valley Edition, we spoke with Farmer about the book and how California's trees, both native and non-native have shaped the state as much as anything since the Gold Rush.