File Size: 21597 KB
Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 28, 2013)
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #79,311 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Horticulture > Trees #13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Biological Sciences > Botany #14 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Trees
Occasionally I get a chance to show this book to some other tree nut. Their first reaction is "Oh, yeah, I have a great tree book too." Then we take a mystery twig and see which book is best. Without fail, this book is quicker and easier. The next thing the tree nut is saying is, "hey let me see that book." The next thing I know I'm back on this page buying a copy to send them...This book is a masterpiece. It is arranged so that you can take a single sign (twig, leaf, bark, etc.) and use pictorial keys to quickly narrow your search to a positive identification of a mystery tree. Sometimes you need to check additional signs, but often times the twig with a leaf or bloom that you bring back from a walk is all you need for a positive identification.I have had my copy since 1975 and it has never let me down as I have lived in Virginia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and points in between. The copyright date is 1958. I don't know anything about George Symonds, but he had that rare knack for making a potentially confusing and complicated topic pleasurably accessible to the average person.This is NOT a coffee table book. It does NOT fit in your pocket. It has NO color photos. This 8.5 x 11-inch black and white volume does have incredibly clear and useful photos of all the keys. Unlike those puny photos and drawings in a pocket guide, these photos are full or one-half scale, or carefully referenced (for example bark photos include a ruler in the image). It has no stuffy writing, just the essential information in completely accessible form.The result is a low-tech looking book that blows the doors off of any other tree ID book I have ever seen.
As a land surveyor, back in the early '80s, I used a copy of this book for the year-round tree identification needs associated with my work (all seasons - with or without leaves). At some point my copy of the book disappeared, but job advancement placed me in the office, so I did without.Recently, a return to performing occasional, outside survey work revived my need to identify trees. After scanning all the books available for this purpose off-the-shelf in a large book store, I lamented the loss of this book, for I found none as useful to me as this book. I assumed it was no longer in print. But, to my delight, I surfed the web and discovered it is still in print and readily available. While its photos are B&W, and not of the highest quality (little if any apparent change in the book in two decades), the book remains a standard, in my opinion, as a tool aptly suited to its name.
I use this book a lot. I find the black and white pictures are easy to use and the size of the book is just right. I wasn't looking for a pocket guide - (have some of those) I was looking for a guide that would really help me id the trees and this one does. I go for walks in our woods and carry this with me to id various things I see. Its great to have on hand
I agree with most of the other user comments already posted (ugly book - but handy identifiation process) BUT I must point out something that no on else has said:THIS BOOK ONLY INCLUDES TREES found in the EASTERN USA.For those of us that live in the western USA, this book fails miserably.
If you're "stumped" (get it?) to identify a tree - this is the book you need. Although illustrated with black and white photos, the book is a picture-perfect guide. Leaves, bark, seed, fruits all are categorized. Text is somewhat minimal. (I would have enjoyed knowing the history behind the naming of certain trees and other trivia). This is the books only deficiency. It is a "must have" however for the nature enthusiast.
In all fairness, I initially viewed a 1958 copy and used it in conjunction with Roger Phillips' Trees of North America. Although the book I viewed is in black and white, it is invaluable for bark, leaf scar and winter bud identification.
The Ag Department at the high school that I work used this book. It's a good source for tree ID, but it could have stood to be a little bigger with more trees. But, the trees that it ID's, are thoughly ID'ed. I would have also liked to see it in color. I really liked the scale used for sizing the leaves, blooms and fruit. Very much worth the money spent.
Symonds' Tree Identification Book and his Shrub Identification Book are two fantastic guides. They have load of pictures - even from different stages/ages of the plant/tree so you can more easily make the id. The book is segmented into sections like leaves, bark, flowers, etc so that whatever part of the plant you have you can look it up that way. Or, if you have anidea what it might be you can go to the master pages in the back and see the whole assortment of photos pertaining to that species in one place. Its a fantastic reference that has really taken away a lot ofthe frustration and guesswork for me.
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