Trees are central to full lives. In this climate emergency, they are our planet’s lungs, and provide shelter, food and warmth for us and wildlife. In autumn 2019, writers collective, 26 Characters, and The Woodland Trust launched 26 Trees, a celebration of native British trees – from the alder to the yew. Each writer composed a poem about an actual tree and a prose piece about the use of its wood. In Patriarch, Rebecca celebrated a venerable West Sussex willow.