Tree peepers everywhere will enjoy these two guides which explore the incredible environment of our country's forests-including seasonal features, habitat, range, and lore. Nearly 700 species of trees are detailed in photographs of leaf shape, bark, flowers, fruit, and fall leaves -- all can be quickly accessed making this the ideal field guide for any time of year.
Note: the Eastern Edition generally covers states east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western Edition covers the Rocky Mountain range and all the states to the west of it.
For the untrained observer, it can be quite a challenge to sort out the many trees that make up a stand of older forest in, say, New England or the Ozarks. This well-illustrated guidebook, covering 364 species, comes to the rescue with photographs organized in several ways: by, for example, the shape of the leaf or needle, by the fruit, by the flower or cone, and by autumn coloration. Following one visible characteristic or another, the reader can narrow the range of possibilities, then turn to an informative text that describes a tree's physical characteristics, habitat, and range. Many of the species covered are relatively rare, such as the "stinking cedar" of the Georgia-Florida border; others are locally abundant, such as the paper birch of the boreal forest, used to make ice-cream sticks; still others, such as the smooth sumac, are widespread. The guidebook also covers ornamentals introduced from other continents, such as the Chinese privet and Mahaleb cherry. --Gregory McNamee