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Tree Identification Book : A New Method for…

Tree Identification Book : A New Method for the Practical Identification…

by George W. D. Symonds

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This is a book I've wanted for a while. The boys got it for me for my birthday. Wow! Fantastic tree ID book. In the way it is setup for identification, it is like the big brother to the fantastic [b:Tree Finder: A Manual for Identification of Trees by their Leaves|257156|Tree Finder A Manual for Identification of Trees by their Leaves (Eastern US)|May Theilgaard Watts|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1328768145s/257156.jpg|249222] by [a:May Theilgaard Watts|477735|May Theilgaard Watts|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg].

It is set up so the novice can identify different pieces of the tree individually & then arrive at a consensus for the actual species. This is a revolutionary idea in the world of tree ID. Usually books say a tree has a very specific type of twig, leaf, or bark, but the truth of the matter is, depending on the conditions, any individual trait can vary amazingly. The book is divided into sections that compare & contrast all of these to figure out the genus & then another section that helps narrow down the species.

To help in identification, similar traits are kept together, so not only will you find maples, sycamores & oaks in the same section, but you'll see a catalpa & paulownia laid out on the same page for easy comparison of their very similar traits. For someone that has been confused before, I think this is the best part.

This is a large format paperback book, so it isn't handy to carry around, but it does have about 250 trees in it. It sticks to the native & naturalized trees of the lower 48 & doesn't try to get into all the species of oaks at all, just highlights a few of the most common of the 3 species. Ditto with willows & a couple of others. That's actually a good thing since oaks hybridize & cross so easily that even the US Forest Service pretty much throws up its hands when it comes to listing them in their handbook. (They actually have 3 tomes to cover the trees & still don't cover the oaks as well as some books.)

I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone interested in tree identification for any season. It is not the only book you want, because it will only help you identify the tree, but it is a fantastic resource for that. ( )
1 vote jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
I love how this book is divided into practical sections- there's a place to check your tree's leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, etc. Every tree also has a page that pulls everything together. The only way they could have improved on this would be to add more sketches and notes. Sketches can help you get past the difficulty of identifying an exact leaf, which can be very different from a pictured leaf. Notes would be useful, for example, in telling you that the easiest way to differentiate between a Norway Maple and a Sugar Maple is to break off a leaf and see if there's a milky substance (Norway Maple has one). ( )
  the1butterfly | Jun 3, 2010 |
I have a tree identification book in every flavor but find myself referring to this one more than any other. Simple to use and lets you search by all the clues: flowers, bark, tree shape, leaf shape, and fruit. Easy for all ages to use. ( )
  EdinaMonsoon | Mar 13, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688050395, Paperback)

A new method for the practical identification and recognition of trees -- and an important supplement to existing botanical methods.

The book is in two parts: Pictorial Keys and Master Pages. The Keys are designed for easy visual comparison of details which look alike, narrowing the identification of a tree to one of a small group -- the family or genus.

Then, in the Master Pages, the species of the tree is determined, with similar details placed together to highlight differences within the family group, thus eliminating all other possibilities. The details of the Oak trees on this plate are an example of the system.

All of the more than 1500 photographs were made specifically for use in this book and were taken either in the field or of carefully collected specimens. Where possible, details such as leaves, fruit, etc., appear in actual size, or in the same scale.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

This book is divided into two sections, Pictorial Keys and Master Pages. The Keys section provides an easy visual comparison of details to narrow the identification of a tree to one of a small group--the family or genus. The Master Pages then further narrow the differences within a family group to determine the exact species of the tree. More than 1500 photographs, many shown in actual size, are used to provide details such as, leaves, fruit, etc.… (more)

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