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Friday, July 8, 2011

Favorite Tree Books

I thought of this the other day while riding in Wilder Ranch enjoying the oaks and after a fun tree walk with a bunch of other tree fans.

Which books are either helpful or fun to read about trees?

While in no particular order.....

When we were walking in the cemetery by Harvey West Park and hearing a discussion about the Dawn Redwood it brought to mind one of my favorite books on trees.

A Reunion of Trees: The Discovery of Exotic Plants and Their Introduction into North American and European Landscapes by Stephen Spongberg.
This book tells the story of the Dawn Redwood as well as the Ginkgo tree being discovered just before WWII. I also loved the part about the plant hunters coming from the UK to explore the west coast and hearing the fate of David Douglas, namesake of the Douglas Fir.

Pacific Coast Trees, McMinn and Maino.
Bought this one while taking my first ID class at College of San Mateo with Alex Graham. Had a blast with the keys and then it just went away, lost among the new picture books. But with our recent move back to the coast, its a must have. The names are different but as usual the plants don't change.

Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us, Matt Ritter.
This is a really great book written by an expert on trees among other stuff. The keys are wonderful, pictures are excellent, and I really like the scale in each picture. The Taxonomy and nomenclature is the most up to date reference we have.

Trees of Santa Barbara, Robert Muller.
Great treatment of trees that you might not find in other books because of the climate down in SB. Its not really an ID book as much as a reference book once you know the plant. When I find something "tropical" looking here this is where I look.

Trees of Golden Gate Park and San Francisco, Elizabeth McClintock.
Great book about the history of the park and the trees in GGP. Great descriptions as well as maps with the park and surrounding area. Full of less common trees.

Trees of Seattle, Arthur Lee Jacobson.
If I could pick a book that inspired me to write a Trees of .... book this would be it. I started one in Spokane WA but moved (after 15 years) before I could get very far.

North American Landscape Trees, Arthur Lee Jacobson.
Also by Arthur, a great book, but what I like most is the research discussing the tree's introduction and history.

Trees of the California Landscape, Charles R. Hatch.
Nice reference book, some good pictures, and nice lists of trees by their attributes. Has keys but I have not tried them.

Conifers of the World. James E. Eckenwalder.
Huge book, great information, very technical but worth reading if you like conifers and want to learn about ones from the southern hemisphere.

Conifers of California. Ronald M. Lanner.
Great book on native conifers, I especially like the ID parts, At a distance, Standing below, In the hand. Great idea.

Pocket Guide to Palms. Robert Lee Riffle.
Nice handy little book.

Conifers. Keith Rushforth.
Had this one a long time, still use it all the time, great descriptions and easy to read.

Oaks of California. Bruce Pavlik, Pamela Muick, Sharon Johnson and Marjorie Popper.
Oaks are a bugger to ID, this book helps,

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