Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Random House Inc (T) (November 1978)
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.6 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #371,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #93 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Trees #34526 in Books > Science & Math
I really looked forward to getting a copy of this book. I'm a big fan of the Random House series of plant books authored by Phillips and Rix and I was expecting something of the quality of their books on perennials and bulbs. Now the book is glossy, the photographs excellent and each tree listed is given a concise desciption of its habit and range. Particularly useful is the leaf identification guide, which is arranged in such a way that you don't have to know the meaning of "subacuminate" to discover the name of that tree you've been coveting in the neighbour's yard down the street. Unfortunately the book has several flaws. With a few exceptions, cultivars and varieties of the trees listed are not shown, so the book's usefulness, horticulturally speaking, is limited. Hardiness limits are not given. There are also some odd lapses in coverage. For example, _Cercis siliquastrum_ , Judas Tree, a European tree, is shown, while _Cercis canadensis_ , Redbud, the common North American native is not. That stalwart of the American south, the Live Oak (_Quercus virginiana_) is absent as well. For a book that purports to list "500 of the most common and important trees" this is very strange indeed. At the end of the day, the basic problem with this book is that it can't decide if it's aimed for the naturalist is the field or the horticultural enthusiast. Unfortunately, it will satisfy neither, as it is not a comprehensive guide. The beginning (and serious) gardener will want to consult instead one of Michael Dirr's excellent books; more sophisticated should see this book as a supplement, but not a replacement, for Dirr.
To fill my information needs to provide the service of a Designer and Arborist, I've found that no single book is perfect, nor teaches every aspect:Considering that, this book about Trees of North America is one of the better books for for illustrating plant parts like leaves, for plant Identification - for the money. It helps me help others.Some books contain more tree species and cultivars - but be ready to spend 3 to 5 times more money too. And, many more expensive books, although the photos are nice, don't have the same side-by-side comparisons that this Trees of North America book has.The photos of leaves, twigs, flowers and bark, are all enlarged sufficiently to see the details without "straining" or guessing.If I need to take one book in-the-field with me, this is the one. The weight is appropriate for transport, and it gets the job done.This is not what I'd call a cultural care book. It is a good plant ID and plant selection book. You will know if cones are too big, or the tree will be too small - or large.Since tree care and selection requires several books - this will be one to include in that landscape library assortment. I own several other much more expensive books, but I still have this one, and it's not leaving my library.
This is one of the best guides for quick lookup of trees you don't know the name of. They have a series of leaf patterns and are grouped sensibly to make it quick to identify that tree you are curious about. Highly recommended !!
I found the book difficult to follow because of the way it was organized: all the leaves in one section, the bark in another, the shape of the tree in yet another. I still don't know what the tree is outside my window... which is why I bought the book in the first place.
I bought this book probably 10-15 years ago from Crown Price. Little did I know until today that Random House New York sells a book with duplicates of pages 161-176 and fails to include pages 144-160. No wonder as a previous reviewer noted, the Red Bud is not in the book. The author probably included it along with many others, but the publisher is incompetent.
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