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To many plant lovers winter seems like lost time, but a glance at the twigs of trees and shrubs shows that this does not need not be the case. In contrast to other life forms, trees and shrubs do not die aboveground, but enclose their shoots for the next year in buds, presenting many characters which hardly change over time. Using these bud and twig characters, deciduous trees and shrubs can be classified reliably in winter, which is particularly important during planting time.
Author Bernd Schulz's unrivalled masterpiece, originally published in German, is a practical guide to identifying trees and shrubs in winter. Comprehensive and easy to use, it contains over 700 species identifiable via their winter buds and twigs. The illustrated identification keys are easy to use, and a summary set of keys are provided as an appendix. Detailed descriptions are accompanied with over 1,400 colour illustrations.
"The first thing to say about this large-format book is that it is a thing of beauty. The author, Bernd Schulz, must be the world’s best painter of twigs. For this book he has painted around 1,400 different twigs and they are reproduced here in full colour, beautifully printed on matt paper. As ever with identification, pictures are much better than photographs, and these could not be bettered [...] What I think might have happened is that someone at Kew fell in love with Bernd Schulz’s illustrations and found the money to produce an English edition of excellent quality, but not thoroughly edited for use in Britain. Moreover, the book was ill-timed. The BSBI is about to produce a field guide on the exact same subject, with simpler illustrations but more closely tailored to what British naturalists really need."
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 30(2), December 2018
"This monumental taxonomic work is one reference work that will help us all to be more confident in the identification of a comprehensive list of winter twigs and buds."
– Tony Kirkham Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew