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Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs Hardcover – October 18, 2011


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Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs + Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propogation and Uses + Botany for Gardeners: Third Edition
Price for all three: $135.24

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 952 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881929018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881929010
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 2.2 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* With beautiful, artistic photographs and succinct text, this volume is nearly as attractive as one of the gorgeous blossoming shrubs discussed within. Dirr has added another well-written and slickly produced book to his volumes on plants used in ornamental horticulture. This volume is filled with information for the gardener, landscape architect, and all those curious about the trees and shrubs they may encounter.The chatty descriptions incorporate information often limited to tables—disease resistance, size, shape, and zone hardiness as well as some history and taxonomy. These descriptions are accompanied by high-quality photographs. Reading the entries is educational as well as inspirational for readers. There are mentions of trends, such as the note that junipers are falling out of fashion but that potentillas are highly regarded in northern gardens. An appendix listing plants for specific needs and purposes is notable. Comments like “about the closest to red flowers but still not red” speak of Dirr’s passion for and delight in the trees and shrubs as well as his expertise. His personal experiences with particular species are forthrightly and sometime wryly noted: “They sit in the garden and look at me, never prospering.” With descriptions of 380 genera illustrated with 3,500 photographs, this is likely to become a standard reference for including trees and shrubs in gardens of all types. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. --Linda Scarth

Review

“Seasoned gardeners, landscape professionals including nursery and garden center personnel, designers, architects and enthusiastic beginners need look no further.”

(P Allen Smith GreenProfit Buzz)

“His book Manual of Woody Landscape Plants has been a go to reference around the office years so we're excited about his latest book.”
(Ellen Wells OC Register)

“A new gold-standard.… [R]efreshingly readable and personable for a reference manual. This book will be your personal Dr. Dirr ready and willing to advise you and your customers on the right plant for the right purpose.”
(Cindy McNatt EricaGlasener.com)

“If you're the type of gardener who likes to settle in with big, fat reads over the winter, Dirr's 8-pound (I weighed it) "Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs" (Timber Press) could keep you occupied until April.”
(Erica Glasener GardenRant)

“…[H]e grows or has grown many of the plants he writes about. Fortunately for the rest of us, his passion for plants continues and this book is bound to gain him even more fans.”
(Susan Harris Upstate Gardeners' Journal)

“Professor Michael A. Dirr is THE MAN when it comes to woody plants.  And I agree –‘smart, opinionated, comprehensive, wonderful’ - all true!”
(Jane Millman Working Mom's Garden Blog)

“A gorgeous updated version of the classic. Do you need it? Yes!”
(Jessie Keith Nursery Management Magazine)

“Excellent and thorough coverage… I would recommend this book to any gardener seeking a definitive book on woody landscape plants for North America.”
(Adrian Higgins The Washington Post)

“Michael A. Dirr does not disappoint."
(Margaret Roach AWayToGarden.com)

“Dirr has guided discerning gardeners for decades -- he has made the American landscape a better place.”
(George Weigel Booklist)

“The man we have all relied on for decades outdoes even himself in sussing out the woody-plant picture today.”
(Jane Berger Better Homes and Gardens)

“Dirr has added another well-written and slickly produced book to his volumes on plants used in ornamental horticulture. Educational as well as inspirational…this  is likely to become a standard reference for including trees and shrubs in gardens of all types.”
(James B. Calkins GeorgeWeigel.net)

“Long regarded as the nation’s foremost expert on trees and shrubs, Dr. Dirr… draws on his encyclopedic knowledge and years of personal experience with trees and shrubs.”
(Catriona Tudor Erler Garden Design Online)

“For obsessed plant geeks, this 8-pound tome gives renowned Prof. Michael Dirr’s rundown on just about every woody plant you’d ever want to grow (and lots you wouldn’t.) It’s got color photos, too.”
(Linda Scarth Booklist)

“Whether you're a landscape designer or architect or just a garden enthusiast, you can't do without either of these (Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs and the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) books.  The new Dirr Encyclopedia is a sheer delight, and way too long in coming!”
(Barbara Mahany Cuttings)

“This is likely to become a standard reference for including trees and shrubs in gardens of all types. Highly recommended.”
(The American Gardener)

"More like an arboreal expose than an encyclopedia, everyone who has something woody in their life needs to own a copy of this book…Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs helps us separate the dynamos from the dregs"
(The Oregonian)

“Dirr’s frank and often witty assessments make his works all the more special, unique, and fun to read.”
(Smith Mountain Laker Magazine)

The world of trees and shrubs is dealt with as thoroughly as anyone has done it before.
(Booklist)

"This is an important and valuable book, truly Michael Dirr's magnum opus, and well worth the price."
(Tri-Valley Herald)

"Dirr... fills the text with fascinating information for the gardener, landscape architect, and all those curious about the trees and shrubs they may encounter."
(Country Gardens)

"Everything you will ever need or want to know about the...beauties in your own yard...is here."


"For any serious gardener, the expense of this book will be repaid many times over in the valuable advice and information it will impart, page by page and pound by pound.”


More About the Author

Michael A. Dirr is a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia. He is the author of twelve books, including Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia and the text and reference book, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, and has published more than 300 scientific and popular papers and articles. His teaching, lectures, seminars, garden study tours, and plant introduction programs have contributed enormously to greater horticultural awareness. He has received the highest teaching and gardening awards from the University of Georgia, American Society of Horticultural Science, American Horticultural Society, American Nursery & Landscape Association, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Southern Nursery Association, and Garden Club of America.

Customer Reviews

I heartily recommend this book for new and experienced gardeners alike.
Lisa Bourret
It is the most comprehensive book on trees and shrubs I have ever seen and when used in conjunction with the manual it is like taking a horticulture course.
V. Foster
Full of details, colorful quality photos and good index at the last pages.
Boriss Lariushin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Pie Grrrl TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been in love with Michael Dirr's brain since I was a student of his at U of I, Urbana in the 70's. Like other fans, I've got each addition of his "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants", the industry Bible. If your nursery or landscaper does NOT have a weather-beaten copy of the Manual in their shop or truck, DO NOT HIRE THEM!!! lol

I received advance notice of this book's release and placed an advance order, counting the days until arrival. And it's finally HERE<<<, in my hot little hands, and ready to be devoured and enjoyed.

Note: The weight of this book is NOT for the faint of heart. It must surpass 6-7 pounds, as a hard cover. The quality of the paper used for printing is of high quality; the way a high-priced coffee table book should look and feel.

The photos show a lifetime of passion by Dr. Dirr; this must be one of his proudest achievements, to place in ONE spot just some of the photos he's taken throughout his career. Crisp, clean and sharp; some show Autumn colour, flowers, and adult form, which will be invaluable to landscape services. When you are trying to impress upon a client just HOW BIG a certain tree will become and they don't believe you, THIS book will put that topic to rest.

This certainly does not replace the Manual of Woody Plants; it's a short cut with Dirr's usual pithy comments. There's adult size and zoning, with a paragraph or two about each genus and species, but you'll certainly need the Manual for more specifics.

What is missing from this book, which I was hoping was present but is not, is clear close-ups of terminal buds of the trees and shrubs.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gen of North Coast Gardening TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The internet has removed the need for so many types of book. Between the online nursery descriptions and search engine image searches, you can find basic information on many types of plant, and that's often good enough.

However, things become tricky when you're trying to compare plants. For example, recently I wanted to plant a Spirea `Neon Flash', but all the nursery had was `Anthony Waterer'. Using the internet, the descriptions looked remarkably similar, to the point where I wondered whether I was dealing with the same plant under two different names (this happens a surprising amount in the plant world).

This is where a giant, thorough encyclopedia comes in handy.

Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs is a game-changer. Twice as thick as Dirr's most famous work, Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, it is crammed full of photos and deliciously blunt descriptions of each of the varieties listed. The book feels like a gift - the essence of Dirr, immortalized - and is clearly going to be the new must-have book for anyone serious about gardening.

The benefits of a comprehensive enclyclopedia like this are numerous. First, in my Spirea research, I was able to get a clear comparison between `Neon Flash' and `Anthony Waterer'. (If you're curious, `Neon Flash' is slightly shorter, much less wide, and doesn't have the tendency to develop cream-colored foliage reversions as does `Anthony Waterer' - in short, had I gone with the internet's advice I would have been pruning dear Anthony off his neighbors for years to come.)

Second, I trust Dirr. He's brutally sarcastic, thoughtful, and has no motive to make a plant sound better than it is (hello, nursery catalogs!).
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Campbell on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dirr is truly a Giant of his industry. All of his books have been invaluable go-to references. This book is a little less information rich than his "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" but it does provide many of the critical details along with large beautiful photos. As with his other books Dirr shares his opinions openly and often with great humor. This book would be a good introduction for someone discovering Dirr for the first time.

This man truly lives for what he writes about. Almost every plant in his encyclopedia is accompanied by some personal experience or observation by the Author. I am humbled by his knowledge and grateful that he has taken the time to share it with us.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Bourret on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs is a comprehensive book on trees and shrubs. This publication belongs in everyone's gardening library! Michael Dirr is the world's foremost authority on trees and shrubs. This book is a wonderful horticultural reference and includes meticulous information on planting and care. It's actually a compilation of Dr. Dirr's two books: Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs and Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates. I heartily recommend this book for new and experienced gardeners alike. It's easy to understand and would be invaluable to new homeowners landscaping their property for the first time. The photographs are outstanding; a visual delight for the senses!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think it should be clarified that this is not an update to Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propogation and Uses. The Manual is a text-heavy reference with only illustrations while the Encyclopedia is photo-heavy with some text commentary on culture and available cultivars. Format is comparable to Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia.

This book is full of beautiful photography. The kind of book I will open up to a random page and forget what I originally came to find
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Most Recent Customer Reviews