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Trees of Western North America

Field / Identification GuideIdentification Key

Series: Princeton Field Guides Series

By: Richard Spellenberg(Author), Christopher J Earle(Author), Gil Nelson(Author), David More(Illustrator), Amy K Hughes(Editor)

560 pages, 200 colour illustrations, 422 colour distribution maps

Princeton University Press

Paperback | Aug 2014 | #211303 | ISBN-13: 9780691145808
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £23.99 $32/€27 approx
Hardback | Aug 2014 | #211304 | ISBN-13: 9780691145792
Out of Print Details

About this book

Covering 630 species, more than any comparable field guide, Trees of Western North America is the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use book of its kind. Presenting all the native and naturalized trees of the western United States and Canada as far east as the Great Plains, Trees of Western North America features superior descriptions; thousands of meticulous color paintings by David More that illustrate important visual details; range maps that provide a thumbnail view of distribution for each native species; "Quick ID" summaries; a user-friendly layout; scientific and common names; the latest taxonomy; information on the most recently naturalized species; a key to leaves; and an introduction to tree identification, forest ecology, and plant classification and structure.

The easy-to-read descriptions present details of size, shape, growth habit, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, flowering and fruiting times, habitat, and range. Using a broad definition of a tree, Trees of Western North America covers many small, overlooked species normally thought of as shrubs, as well as treelike forms of cacti and yuccas. With its unmatched combination of breadth and depth, this is an essential guide for every tree lover. It is the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use field guide to the trees of western North America. It covers 630 species, more than any comparable guide, including all the native and naturalized trees of the United States and Canada as far east as the Great Plains. It features specially commissioned artwork, detailed descriptions, range maps for native species, up-to-date taxonomy and names, and much, much more.

"Covering more species (630 in the West, 825 in the East) than any comparable field guides, Trees of Western North America and Trees of Eastern North America are the most comprehensive, best illustrated, and easiest-to-use books of their kind. The book features thousands of meticulous color paintings by David More and easy-to-read descriptions present details of size, shape, growth habit, bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, habitat, and range. With an unmatched combination of breadth and depth, these are essential guides for every tree lover."
– James A. Baggett, Better Homes and Gardens

"Each volume on its own would serve you well in getting to know the trees around you better. Both together certainly provide a more complete understanding of the diversity of North American trees. I already treasure my two-volume set and expect to wear it out quickly."
– Guy Sternberg, American Gardener

"Highly recommended for botany reference shelves!"
– James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"Excellent additions to any botanical library."
– Steve Whysall, Vancouver Sun

"The book is attractively designed, and each species description provides scientific and common names; a handy 'Quick ID' sentence; detailed, terse physical description; sections titled 'Habitat/Range' and 'Similar Species'; and a range map [...] [An] excellent reference."

"These new references offer up-to-date information as well as a treasure trove of specially commissioned drawings showcasing trees both in their majestic entirety as well as in stunning, separate close-ups detailing their bark, leaves, flowers, and fruit. Such comprehensive works are impressive scholarly achievements, providing lay users with helpful assistance via 'Quick ID' summaries and range maps within entries. These are lush botanical resources from an esteemed source guaranteed to please all audiences."
– Judy Quinn, Library Journal

"These volumes are masterfully designed, and More's exquisitely detailed renderings will ensure that weekend botanists never mistake their Hercules' club for a common hoptree."
– Bill Cannon, Scientist's Bookshelf

"Astonishing [...] The illustrations in the Princeton tree volume are superb: colorful, accurate, and appealing."
– Ed Kanze, Adirondack Explorer

"Even if you don't love trees, you'll love these books."
– Devorah Bennu, GrrlScientist, The Guardian

"Without a doubt, this is a book that should be on the library shelf of every person interested in Georgia trees. Even better, it should be in all of our packs, right next to the hiking stick, ready to go!"
– Hal Massie, BotSoc News (Georgia Botanical Society)

"Whether you're faced with a saguaro or a sequoia, a hawthorn or a hemlock, this easy guide will surely get you to the birch in time."
– Matthew Bettelheim, (bio)accumulation blog

"With the publication of Trees of Western North America and its companion volume, Trees of Eastern North America, we have a reference set that will serve us well for generations."
– Acorn, South Sound Chapter of Washington Native Plant Society

"Everyone who ventures into the outdoors should have a copy in their backpack."
– Frank Sousa, MassLive

"For that subset of plant aficionados interested in the more arboreal members of our flora, this book should fill that bill. I have come away with a whole new set of what will probably be marginal plants to search out and try."
– Jim Borland, Aquilegia

"This guide is great for identifying trees throughout western Canada and the United States, particularly for botanists on the move."
– Kimberly Gould, Alberta Native Plant Council Newsletter

"This is an outstanding guide. I was constantly amazed at the amount of information that the authors have gathered and presented in a clear, readable style."
– Arnold Tiehm, University of Nevada, Reno

"This exceptional guide will be a useful reference for arborists, foresters, landscape architects, and gardeners. The botanical descriptions are excellent, the text is easy to read, and the side notes provide interesting facts that help to fully describe the species. The illustrations are very effective, providing sufficient detail for identification. And the location maps for species nativity are a welcome bonus."
– Dennis Swartzell, board-certified master arborist, Henderson, Nevada


Introduction 6
About This Book 6
Taxonomy and Names 7
Gymnosperms and Angiosperms 7
Tree Biology 9
Forest Structure 18
Leaf Keys 19
Key to the Gymnosperms by Leaf Type 20
Key to Selected Angiosperm Trees by Leaf Shape 21

Gymnosperms 26
Conifers 26
Ginkgoaceae: Ginkgo Family 27
Araucariaceae: Araucaria Family 28
Cupressaceae: Cypress Family 30
Pinaceae: Pine Family 55
Taxaceae: Yew Family 110
Angiosperms 112
Monocots 112
Arecaceae: Palm Family 112
Asparagaceae: Asparagus Family 118
Dicots 130
Adoxaceae: Moschatel Family 130
Anacardiaceae: Cashew Family 134
Apocynaceae: Oleander Family 148
Aquifoliaceae: Holly Family 149
Araliaceae: Ginseng Family 152
Asteraceae: Aster Family 152
Betulaceae: Birch Family 156
Bignoniaceae: Bignonia Family 172
Boraginaceae: Borage Family 176
Buddlejaceae: Buddleja Family 178
Burseraceae: Torchwood Family 178
Cactaceae: Cactus Family 180
Cannabaceae: Hemp Family 199
Celastraceae: Bittersweet Family 204
Cornaceae: Dogwood Family 206
Ebenaceae: Ebony Family 210
Elaeagnaceae: Oleaster Family 212
Ericaceae: Heath Family 216
Euphorbiaceae: Spurge Family 226
Fabaceae: Bean or Pea Family 230
Fagaceae: Beech or Oak Family 276
Garryaceae: Silktassel Family 320
Hamamelidaceae: Witch-hazel Family 324
Juglandaceae: Walnut Family 325
Koeberliniaceae: Allthorn Family 334
Lauraceae: Laurel Family 335
Malvaceae: Mallow Family 340
Meliaceae: Mahogany Family 346
Moraceae: Mulberry Family 346
Myoporaceae: Myoporum Family 352
Myricaceae: Wax Myrtle Family 353
Myrtaceae: Myrtle Family 354
Oleaceae: Olive Family 362
Papaveraceae: Poppy Family 378
Pittosporaceae: Cheesewood Family 379
Platanaceae: Planetree Family 381
Proteaceae: Protea Family 385
Punicaceae: Pomegranate Family 386
Rhamnaceae: Buckthorn Family 386
Rosaceae: Rose Family 402
Rubiaceae: Madder Family 454
Rutaceae: Citrus or Rue Family 456
Salicaceae: Willow Family 464
Sapindaceae: Soapberry Family 500
Sapotaceae: Sapodilla Family 514
Simaroubaceae: Quassia Family 516
Solanaceae: Nightshade Family 518
Staphyleaceae: Bladdernut Family 520
Styracaceae: Storax Family 521
Tamaricaceae: Tamarisk Family 522
Ulmaceae: Elm Family 528
Verbenaceae: Vervain Family 534
Zygophyllaceae: Caltrop Family 538

Acknowledgments 540
Abbreviations 541
Glossary 542
Index of Species 547

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Richard Spellenberg, a botanist and specialist in plant taxonomy, is the author of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers, Western Region and coauthor of the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America.

Christopher J. Earle is an ecologist whose specialties include forest ecology and conifer biology.

Gil Nelson is a botanist and the coauthor of the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America and the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States.

David More is regarded as one of the finest botanical illustrators in the world. He has illustrated a number of tree guides, including the acclaimed Collins Tree Guide and The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees.

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