A Trail Called Home


An exploration of trees in the Golden Horseshoe and the stories they tell.

Trees define so much of Canadian life, but many people, particularly in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario, don’t know that much about them. Granted, it is harder here: there are more trees that are native to this area than anywhere else in Canada.

The great storytellers of the landscape, trees are looking glasses into the past. They speak of biology, ecology, and geology, as well as natural and human history. Through a greater understanding of trees, we can become more rooted to the land beneath our feet, and our place in it.


In A Trail Called Home, Paul O’Hara offers a vital new form of nature writing so necessary for our times. His personal story of forging a friendship with the land weaves a passion for trees and a deeply felt understanding of nature, with the settler imperative of bridging connection and building relationship with First Nations who have called this gathering place home for millennia. O’Hara is an inspiring, grounded and eloquent guide on this trail.

Lorraine Johnson, author of Tending the Earth: A Gardener’s Manifesto

O'Hara's gonzo natural history is part memoir, part elegy, part guide. The result is informative, inspiring, entertaining, and often surprising.

Gerry Waldron, biologist and author of Trees of the Carolinian Forest

In A Trail Called Home, Paul O’Hara takes us on a personal walk through the memory of his home place, the wild territory he explored with young friends, and the larger landscape he studied as an adult. Reading the landscape of the Golden Horseshoe to eons past and interpreting what we see now, we see the evolution of change continuing. Through reliving his life experiences, we share the revelation of a deeper meaning to the land, a feeling of connection with the genius loci, and a sense of the divine in the remnants of wild places.

John D. Ambrose, botanist and pioneer of Carolinian tree conservation

[A Trail Called Home] is an eloquent mix of botany, history, and memoir, grounded in the landscape of southern Ontario and the magnificent trees of the Golden Horseshoe.

Ground Magazine

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