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This field guide includes more than 150 species that are likely to be encountered in Britain and elsewhere in northern and central Europe. This includes native species, such as Hawthorn, Wild Cherry, English Elm and Sessile Oak, together with trees which have been widely introduced from other parts of the world.
The book's unique selling point is its ingenious set of identification keys at the start of the guide, which cover broadleaf and conifer leaves, buds, cones, catkins, flowers, fruit and bark, and cross-reference with the tree species and families in the main sections of the book.
The guide is suitable for beginners and more knowledgeable readers, and the text has been written in an easy-to-understand style, while there is a detailed glossary at the end of the book to explain any technical terms. Each species account covers a spread and includes a photo of the whole tree, together with close-up detail of other features such as leaves, bark and so on, all of which have been taken by the author, while the accompanying text describes key characteristics for identification, including a useful 'Quick ID' section.
Alan Birkett has worked as an ecologist in many locations around the world, but one of his greatest passions is for the trees to be found in his native UK, which he has spent many decades studying and photographing.