The Field Key to Winter Twigs offers a striking new approach to the identification of over 400 trees, shrubs and woody climbers to be found wild or planted in the British Isles. It allows any diligent enthusiast to reliably name a woody plant, normally within three turns of pages and often within a minute of study (due to the novel construction of the keys, where entry is possible at any user selected point).
- short and user-friendly keys to groups of similar woody plants;
- hundreds of line illustrations to clarify descriptions;
- colour plates to highlight twig and bud morphology; and
- a glossary and a detailed section of unusual characters.
The Field Key to Winter Twigs is a powerful identifcation tool, invaluable to all amateur and professional botanists, ecologists, gardeners, foresters, dendrologists, horticulturalists, naturalists and ramblers.
No other book is comparable in detail and scope: it opens the door to a fascinating new world, allowing the reader to name a woody plant that may have previously been unnameable.
Originally printed in 2018 (ISBN 9780956014412), this reprint includes corrections, enhanced images and photos, and additional technical information.
"Twigs are in the spotlight right now. First there was Kew’s lavish Identification of Trees and Shrubs in Winter using Buds and Twigs (reviewed in BW 30(2) 151), and now John Poland’s new Field Key. Both cover the 400-odd woody plants found wild or naturalised in Britain (excluding only the more critical roses, whitebeams and brambles, which probably cannot be distinguished by twigs alone). The Field Key is a much slimmer (and much cheaper) book, devoted mainly to a long key divided into sections with detailed descriptions of each twig and the distinguishing characters underlined. It has a privately published feel about it, on cheaper paper than the mainstream BSBI Handbooks, and in a small font that wastes no space. The drawings by Robin Walls are excellent, and so are the 38 packed colour plates, with each twig photographed against a standard blue background. Poland is the acknowledged expert, and I have no doubt that this book has been thoroughly checked and is 100% reliable. It forms a natural companion to Poland’s equally challenging Vegetative Key to the British Flora, which shows you how to identify plants from leaves alone. [...]"
– Peter Marren, British Wildlife 30(3), February 2019