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New Book features Territory's Remarkable Baobabs


Dec. 23, 2004 – Less than a year after visiting the Virgin Islands to see the territory's baobab trees, renowned tree author Thomas Pakenham has published a book that includes a chapter titled "The Jumbie Trees of the Caribbean," which explains that St. Croix is unique in having more baobabs than any other Caribbean island.
The chapter describes how baobab seeds were brought from Africa to the Caribbean by enslaved Africans, according to a press release.
The book, "The Remarkable Baobab" (2004), is published by W. W. Norton & Co. It also describes baobabs in Africa, Madagascar and Australia.
The book also features photos and descriptions of the three largest baobabs on St. Croix, the Grove Place tree and two baobabs at Butler Bay.
Pakenham, the Earl of Longford, learned about Virgin Islands trees through his participation in UVI's "Remarkable Big Trees of the U.S. Virgin Islands" project, which documents some of the islands' finest trees and collects tree history and folklore. He serves on the project's advisory committee. The research about the Virgin Islands trees was facilitated by University of the Virgin Islands Professor Dr. Robert Nicholls, the project's principal investigator, and Olasse Davis, an ecologist at UVI's Cooperative Extension Service on St. Croix. Davis is featured in the pictures published in the book.
The Remarkable Baobab is available on St. Thomas at Dockside Book Shop.
UVI's Remarkable Big Tree Project, which is sponsored by the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program and the VI Department of Agriculture, has now located and measured 150 trees, and these appear in the USVI Register of Big Trees (see www. bigtrees.net). Furthermore, members of the project are developing a book in the form of a tour-guide containing maps that will enable locals and visitors alike to tour the islands and encounter some of the finest trees in the Caribbean.
The book will be published in the Fall of 2005.
For more information contact Nicholls, at 693-1184 or 776-2689.


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