The Bur Oak Manifesto: Seeking Nature & Planting Trees in the Great Plains (Expanded Second Edition)

$14.95 USD

By Jack Phillips

paperback • 194 pages • 5.5 x 8.5 • foreword and illustrations by Paul A. Johnsgard

This expanded second edition of The Bur Oak Manifesto includes eight new essays to accompany the original twenty, with many essays previously published in the regional journal Prairie Fire.

I began to read articles by Jack Phillips long before I met him in person. I was taken by his knowledge of plants and of literature, his obvious great love for the natural world, and his ability to integrate the two. It seems rare now to encounter an "old-fashioned" naturalist cut from the same mold as myself, who is happy to be alone in the woods, with only the sounds of rustling trees and singing birds, the rich smells of both growing and decaying plants, and the sense of being at complete peace with nature. 

Paul A. Johnsgard, noted ornithologist and emeritus professor of biological sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jack Phillips is one of the few people I know whom I would characterize as a "Renaissance Man." Trained in philosophy and religious studies, he also does the sciences, particularly the natural sciences, where he excels in the biology, ecology, taxonomy, and morphology of woody plants and trees. Pair all of these attainments with a broad knowledge of literature and a superb talent for writing, and you have a person worth spending time with, either in person or on paper.

Allan R. Taylor, professor emeritus at the University of Colorado, Boulder and former board member of the International Oak Society

Inspired by immersion, Phillips has crafted a remarkable ode to the oak nation as he weaves ecological experience with language and culture to reveal a mystic glimpse of an ancient ecosystem and the power of human connections to protect our vital and vanishing wild.

Amy Kucera, associate editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine

Jack derives wisdom from careful observation of the natural world. His study has helped him understand and teach concepts ranging from cellular processes to ecosystem function to spirituality. His writing can help us recognize the absurdity of the modern human disconnect with the natural (dare I say, REAL) world and help us restore our relationship with this life-sustaining place.

Chad Graeve, natural resource specialist for Pottawattamie County Conservation Board

Jack is fervent about spreading the good word. The Bur Oak Manifesto is like Jack standing on a soap box espousing the wondrous virtues of rhizosphere symbiosis while handing out postcards with a single image of an acorn on one side and on the back side the image of planet earth. Guided by his unrestrained passion and his anecdotal persuasion, the reader is easily enticed with essays from the necessity of biodiversity to lessons taken from a salamander. In a nutshell (acorn?!), Jack takes us into the soul of the tree in order to find our connection with it.

Wenda Li, ISA Certified Arborist and former Women's International Tree Climbing Champion


Jack Phillips is a naturalist, nature writer, arboricultural consultant, and principal of New Tree School. Phillips teaches and explores the best ways to grow, plant, and preserve native plant communities throughout North America.  


UPDATE 3/9/2015: The reprinted books are here! We'll be filling orders this week. Thanks for your patience!



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