I first purchased a book about European trees maybe 15 years ago. Every tree is different with a distinct personality. My favourite tree is possibly the oak: strong, rugged, mysterious and ancient. Oaks line our country lanes and stand as sentinels, watching over us. The oak is a powerful-looking tree, say, compared to the ash which is more wispy and delicate to look at. The silver birch is quite fragile and has an annoying habit of rotting from within- no wonder it is the emblem of a certain political party here in the UK. The yew is another historical tree and one that can live for literally thousands of years. The yew is traditionally planted in cemeteries in this country as it symbolises everlasting life, immortality, and rebirth. The yew's history is also very dark as its leaves and berries are deadly poisonous.The barks of all these trees are distinct and speak their own language. Have a look and see what I mean.