'The joys and riches O'Kathay': Augustine Henry and the trees of China.

  • E.C. Nelson National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Keywords: Botany, history, medicinal herbs, China, environment.


Professor Augustine Henry is acknowledged as the 'father' of Irish commercial forestry, as the 'prophet of forestry in Ireland and the forests are to keep his memory green'l. His promotion of the planting of wind-tolerant, vigorous, northwestern American conifers has had obvious effects on the Irish landscape. When we are honest, the wisdom of this aspect of Augustine Henry's work must be questioned, because a dense, dismal monoculture of conifers is not always an ornament, no matter how profitable. Such criticism is, of couse, one-sided and fails to take into account Henry's philosophical views about forests, woods and trees and fails also to acknowledge his work as a botanical explorer and collector, his roles as a dendrophile and teacher and his contributions and accomplishments as a scientist who recognised, for example, that hybrid vigour could be exploited to the betterment of planted forests...
How to Cite
Nelson, E. (1995). ’The joys and riches O’Kathay’: Augustine Henry and the trees of China. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9763
Conference Papers