The Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network is proud to announce the publication of a collection of essays to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Evelyn on 31 October 1620. Evelyn was a famed English writer and gardener, author of Sylva, the first modern book on forestry.

Edited by John Dargavel, one of the world’s foremost forest historians, and Ben Wilkie, a specialist in Australia’s colonial and environmental history, the collection includes 13 essays on a range of subjects, including Evelyn’s Sylva, and forests, trees, and forestry in Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the globe.

Restoring Forests in Times of Contagion is freely available on the ANZEHN website



I. Evelyn and Sylva

  1. John Dargavel – A Salute to John Evelyn
  2. Gabriel Hemery – The Future Sylva
  3. Michael Roche – John Evelyn’s Sylva in New Zealand

II. Gardens

4. Sybil Jack – Evelyn’s Garden of Paradise
5. André Brett – ‘Some of the Choicest Specimens of Plant Life’: Tree-Planting by Government Railways in Australasia pre-WWI
6. Alison Miller – Death of a Tree, Life of a Tree

III. Restoration

7. Ben Wilkie – The Deforestation and Reforestation of Victorian Volcanoes
8. David Freudenberger and Ian Rayner – Replanting Woodlands in Australia – A Volunteer Rich Process
9. Libby Robin – On the Verge of Isolation
10. Fiona Firth – Trees on Farms: Tree-planters in the Bega Valley

IV. Plantations and Policy

11. John Taylor and Jane Lennon – Sylva Anew: A Discourse of Forest-Trees and the Propagation of Timber in the Bottle Creek Estate
12. Anton Sveding – ‘Plant trees and grow money’: Promoting Farm Forestry in New Zealand in the 1920s
13. John Dargavel – Are Plantations the Answer?


A Publication History of John Evelyn’s Sylva