Book details

224 Pages
Publication date: January 2016
Imprint: Servus
Erwin Thoma

I Watched You Grow

What Grandpa Knew about Trees

Rights sold to

  • Czech Republic: Paprsky
  • English World: Moontime Diary
  • Italy: Monfalcone
  • Japan: Jiyusha
  • Korea: Sallim
  • German paperback rights: S. Fischer Verlag
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Wood is a natural material, full of secrets, and with wonderful properties. For centuries, people have understood the special qualities of this unique building material and the magical effects trees can have on our lives. Woodcutters and craftsmen have passed on their traditions, so that subsequent generations can keep them alive.

A book filled with handed-down knowledge and a fascinating life lived with wood, the forest and the moon.

A wood fireplace that has provided heat for 400 years and never burned itself; beeches that don’t split; pine wood that has health benefits; spruces that woodworm stays away from; floorboards that grow together; Stradivarius trees; the correct level of humidity in concert halls – this book has a story to tell about all of these.

Rediscover the ancient secrets of wood and the forests, and learn about the various ways in which nature can open up great possibilities for each of us – through trees. Find out the mysteries that trees hold – and how you can make use of them yourself.


»We can harvest, build and enjoy better lives by using the rhythms and cycles of nature, and allowing the power of the forests to sustain us.«
Erwin Thoma


Erwin Thoma

Erwin Thoma, born in 1962, became a mountain guide and later a forester driven by his love for nature. Nowadays, he and his company Holz100 are specialized in building houses that are made out of wood, energy-self-sufficient and dispense with technology and insulating materials. In his books he takes his readers along into a world that unfortunately has become unfamiliar to many of them.