Hardcover: 404 pages
Publisher: Timber Press; 4 edition (February 24, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #83,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Japanese Gardens #18 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Trees #55 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Plants > Trees
This book just keeps getting thicker and thicker with each release! Now it's a hefty textbook size. The quality of the paper and colors in the book is quite good. As far as the information contained within, it's in the same vein as the previous versions. I have the 2nd version only, so compared to that, it's similar, if not better organized. The authors have expanded on the first few chapters of the book, regarding the history, and care of maples, but it's basically just added information to the previous text (a lot of it is verbatim from the earlier edition). I like how the cultivars are now organized simply by name. I'm not sure if this was something done in the 3rd ed, but in the 2nd, the cultivars were broken down into leaf shape, and then alphabetical. This was more difficult for me, and really served no purpose (in my opinion). The layout now makes more sense. The information for each cultivar is similar to previous editions. A couple of paragraphs with factual information regarding leaf type, shape, sun/shade requirements, etc. And of course, it includes a lot more than previous editions, as new cultivars are introduced.The book does have a few drawbacks though. My biggest gripe is with some of the photos. Though most are beautiful and accurate glossy photos, some are way overly photoshopped. Many people will make their maple selections based on what they think the leaves will look like, and some of the photos are so over the top, the reader will surely be disappointed when they see their maple in reality does not show the brilliant coloration as in the photo. One example is the photo of Ap Crimson Queen. You will clearly see the color "dial" in photoshop was turned to maximum, as the colors just simply look too saturated.
As a landscape designer, a critical part of my work is in recognizing the subtle differences between plants and what they do, so that I can play off the most unique attributes and make a garden that feels different and unusual, while still using plant varieties that my clients will actually be able to find locally.Choosing plants you know will thrive, while still incorporating a sense of inspiration and newness into each garden is a delicate balance. Books like this one are invaluable in choosing the most appropriate variety, or in choosing a substitute if something I love goes out of stock.I've owned the third edition of this book for many years, and I go back to it time and again, because I've found the information available for free online spotty and inconsistent. This latest edition is packed with over 600 varieties, many of which are new and currently available in the trade. They've added 150 cultivars since the last edition came out, and I've looked up the unusual varieties I know of and some old standbys, and found them all present.The most helpful part of this book is undoubtedly the photos of each variety. There are over 500 photos in the book, and in the encyclopedia section, it seems like two-thirds of the varieties listed have an accompanying photo, which is great for helping me expand my horizons and try new maples (even in bare root season when you can't see the leaves!).Another thing I love is the guide in back which lists every variety in the encyclopedia in a chart, so if I'm looking for a red maple that doesn't get taller than 8 feet, I can just refer to the back of the book.
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