> Skip to content

Adventure meets wonder in the canopy of leaves: discover the joy of going vertical.

'A book of heart-stopping bravery and endurance' -- Helen Macdonald

'A great read – incredible adventures and a dramatic new perspective' -- Chris Packham

'[A] delightful, endlessly fascinating book' -- Daily Mail BOOK OF THE WEEK

This is the story of a professional British tree climber, cameraman and adventurer, who has made a career out of travelling the world, filming wildlife for the BBC and climbing trees.

James’s climbs take him around the globe, scaling the most incredible and majestic trees in existence: the strangler fig tree of Borneo, the monolithic Congolese moabi tree, the fern-covered howler tree of Costa Rica and the colossal mountain ash of Australia. On the way he meets native tribes and jungle cats, he gets stung by African bees and chased by gorillas, and he spends his nights in a hammock pitched hundreds of feet up in the air, with only the stars above him.

This book blends incredible stories of his adventures in the branches and a fascination with the majesty of trees to show us the joy of rising – literally – above the daily grind, up into the canopy of the forest.


'The wide horizontal branches stretched away from me to curl up like the giant fingers of an enormous cupped hand. I slid back into the centre of its protective palm and waited for my heart to slow. After a while the small herd of fallow deer I had been following emerged from the trees, carefully picking their way through the churned-up leaf litter to pass beneath me in the wake of the ponies. They had been there all along and I was immediately struck that not one of them appeared to have seen or smelt me as I crouched in the arms of the oak directly above.'

Reviews

A book of heart-stopping bravery and endurance, packed with astonishing—and sometimes gruesome—encounters with wild creatures. James Aldred is an old-school hero, and his thrilling recollections of a life of adventure driven by a love for trees will give you new reverence for the beauties and mysteries of the natural world.

Helen Macdonald

A great read – incredible adventures and a dramatic new perspective from the arms of the world’s giants

Chris Packham

To leave the dank darkness of the jungle floor and travel up to the sunlight forest canopy is probably the natural world’s most exciting revelation. James Aldred’s wonderful book is as close as you will ever get to that experience, without risking the climb for yourself.

Alastair Fothergill, TV Producer for â??The Blue Planetâ??, â??Planet Earthâ?? and â??Frozen Planetâ??

[A] delightful, endlessly fascinating book

Brian Viner, Dail Mail BOOK OF THE WEEK

A heady blend of daredevil ascents with a reflective wonder at the beauty of these living climbing frames

Derek Niemann, nature writer and journalist

A beautiful testament to the unique perspective offered by life high in the branches

Bruce Parry, award-winning documentary film-maker and author

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780753545898

    August 28, 2017

    WH Allen

    304 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780753545874

    September 15, 2017

    WH Allen

    304 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Recommendations

The Princess Diarist
The Road to Little Dribbling
Bon: The Last Highway
Finding My Virginity
How to Stay Alive
Unmasked
Endurance
The Boy Behind the Curtain
Lean In
The House on the Hill
The Choice
When Breath Becomes Air
Young Hitler
The First Casualty
Mindhunter
Lion: A Long Way Home
Secrets for the Mad
Rising Strong
The Map That Leads To You
In Shock