Hidden in unseen valleys of dense rainforest on the coast of California are the world's tallest and largest things - trees up to forty stories tall and as old as the Parthenon: the coastal redwoods. Mysterious and unexplored, few people know how to find them, and fewer still have climbed them to study their upper reaches and discover the wonders there. "The Wild Trees" is the astonishing story of the handful of wild tree climbers and amateur naturalists who are now working in the redwood canopy, exploring this enchanted and terrifically dangerous new world. The canopy is a mysterious place filled with hanging gardens of ferns, mosses and lichens, a massive system of aerial trunks that have fused to form walkways, where redwoods begin to grow on other redwoods, 300 feet in the air. "The Wild Trees" is a story of high adventure of the small band of friends, colleagues and lovers committed to finding the secrets hidden in the lost world of the tallest trees on earth.
Richard Preston is the bestselling author of The Hot Zone, The Demon in the Freezer and the novel The Cobra Event. A writer for the New Yorker since 1985, Preston is the only non-doctor to have received the Centers for Disease Control's Champion of Prevention Award. He also holds an award from the American Institute of Physics and there is an asteroid the size of lower Manhattan named in his honour. In writing and researching The Wild Trees he mastered the complex techniques of climbing wild trees himself, techniques that are known by only 20 people in the world. In September 2006 he made the first ascent and measurement of the newly-discovered world's tallest tree, Hyperion, in a rain-forest valley in Northern California. He has also climbed in the tallest forest canopy in Australia, the so-called "Skeleton Forest" on the Hume Plateau, Victoria, and in Scotland. He also climbs with his children, wife and parents in the trees near their home. His goal is to reveal people and realms that nobody has ever imagined.