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Good tree ID book

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ScottF, Nov 7, 2008.

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  1. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Just for fun I would like to be able to identify the tree species on my property. Can anyone recommend a good tree identification book for north east USA. Possibly something simple for the tree neophyte. If it is inexpensive enough I might want to buy one , two or tree. Thanks for any help

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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  3. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    I like the golden book tree guide. Great little book for the money.
    There are two Audubon trees guides, an eastern and western tree version.
    I made the mistake of buying the wrond one.
  4. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Thanks guys!!! Exactly what I was looking for!!
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I think I have the Golden Book and Audubon ones at home.

    Contrary to your probable first thought- DRAWINGS are better than PHOTOS in field guides. Lighting and variability in photos can really mislead you. Drawings generally capture the really important distinguishing features in the most useful way.
  6. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Ok that makes sence, You are absolutely correct. My first thought would have been photos and that is probably what I would had looked for had I not been edge a ma kated by you. So which of these two books has the drawings and which one would you recommend? I will go with the one you recommend.

    All I know is that I have about 60% white pine, 20 % red oak 3% sugar maple and the rest are unknow to me. I would like to get learned on the rest.
  7. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    "National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees" is awesome!
  8. wayneg

    wayneg Member

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  9. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    AP, Woodford, PA woodsman and Wayne G, Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. Sure appreciate it . Exactly what I was looking for and great information. I will get started right away.
  10. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If I wasn't splitting wood all day tomorrow I could drive over and just tell you what they are, but getting a book and learning them is a lot of fun.
  11. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Im splitting all day tomorrow myself, Thats a gracious offer. If you ever want white pine and its worth the trip for you, you could come take as much as you want and ID the trees for me. Im sure you can find plenty of that stuff in your area too. Im not cutting any hardwood on the lot (or I would offer you that) but trying to promote its growth by cutting out some pine (eventually). Getting rid of the brush is a PITA. Even better I go by your town everyday on my way to work I could even truck some pine for you if you need it. Thanks anyhow.
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Great post . . . I'm pretty good at ID-ing most of the common trees, but sometimes during this time of year I get stumped (pun intended) with trees of similar looking bark since I generally use the leaf as my primary way to ID the tree. Just a few weeks ago for example I took down a large maple which I initially thought was an ash . . . however as I was chunking it up I began to second guess myself and eventually I studied that tree's shape against a known ash and known maple and figured out it was a maple.
  13. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    The golden book is the one with the drawings. Sometimes differences between trees can be very subtle. it helps when a book shows the way the buds terminate and what type of seeds or fruit they bare. This book does that pretty well.
    A wildflower guide can be a fun thing to have also. It's surprising how many things one can walk by in the woods and not notice.
  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I have a thing for the tree guides, and the bird guides.
  15. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    The wife and I have been watching birds for a lot of years. We're not avid birders, it's just another curiosity of ours.
    It's fun to observe their behavior too.
  16. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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  17. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting this interesting information-cool site!
  18. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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  19. EDGE

    EDGE New Member

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    If you are OK with used books, I would recommend that you try www.abebooks.com. You can often buy nice old books very cheaply. And trees don't change, so many of the old treatises are as useful as the more recent. For your area, I would recommend these: H.P.Brown--- Trees of the Northeastern United States 1938 (drawings of leaves and twigs, no range maps, English measurements); R.B.Hough---Handbook of the Trees of the Northern States and Canada (1907)1947 (photos of leaves, twigs, fruit, and trunks, range maps, English measurements); J.L.Farrar--- Trees of the Northern United States and Canada 1995 (drawings AND color photos, range maps, but metric measurements). All of these are excellent, though for a novice I suppose the last might be best. Another excellent book on trees, though not focussed on your area, is Michigan Trees by B.V.Barnes and W.H.Burton 1981, based on the earlier work of C.H.Otis. I guess it must be my favorite because it is the one with the most notes and clippings, even though the measurements are reported in metrics, which I personally find very annoying.
    EDGE
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