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A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Including the Midwest (Peterson Field Guides) Paperback – July 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0395904558 ISBN-10: 0395904552

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Drawings on page 3 show both leaf scars and bundle scars. Immediately beside the map for Osage Orange, too, the text says "Once native to n. Texas, e. Oklahoma, etc., home of the Osage Indians, this species was widely planted before the invention of barbed wire. It is now widely distributed in our area".

About the Author

Roger Tory Peterson, one of the world's greatest naturalists, received every major award for ornithology, natural science, and conservation as well as numerous honorary degrees, medals, and citations, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Peterson Identification System has been called the greatest invention since binoculars. These editions include updated material by Michael O'Brien, Paul Lehman, Bill Thompson III, Michael DiGiorgio, Larry Rosche, and Jeffrey A. Gordon.
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Product Details

  • Series: Peterson Field Guides (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395904552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395904558
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A very useful reference book for nature lovers.
Judy H. Gruver
I thought that the "Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees" was a very good book to read while at home, but it was difficult to use while I was actually "in the woods."
L. Storey
It's very helpful for identifying various trees and learning more about them.
carol wolf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Moses on April 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Peterson's has about the best pocket-sized tree guide out there (I much prefer it to the Audubon guide, which I also own), but I won't kid with you - identifying trees is hard. It takes time, patience, and a keen eye. Just looking at leaves is usually not enough to make a positive identification. Depending on the species and the time of year, you may also have to examine bark, the twigs, flowers, buds, or fruits. The best part of the Peterson guide is that it has summer and winter keys in the back - don't ignore them just because the keys have no pictures! They are invaluable. Without them, you might find yourself lost among the many pages of illustrations. Perhaps the best resource to supplement this guide would be contact with an expert on the flora of your area - perhaps a naturalist at a local park or a forestry professor at a nearby university.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I use other field guides for browsing, but this is the guide I use when I go out into the field and I really want to identify things. It uses a very clear key to subdivide trees into specific groups (like needleleaf/broadleaf or opposit-leaved/alternate-leaved), narrowing down the choices and making identification much easier. The drawings are very clear, and as a bonus, you get a tiny map for each species identifying its exact geographical range. Highly recommended.
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109 of 128 people found the following review helpful By ross williams on March 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
I know quite a bit about trees [boy scout, landscaping, etc], and I found this book to be very confusing in its layout. Not all of the trees described have all identification visually depicted -- leaf, bark, twig, seed -- and what pictures it has are separated from the text description by hundreds of pages. "Okay, this is an oak leaf, and they're described here... hmm, the pictures are back there ... hold on, let me use the leaf as a bookmark ..." Not handy at all.
The text itself is very detailed, but the "how to use this book" chapter doesn't show pictures to describe what is meant by the specific terms it uses. So even though I know quite a bit about trees, I found myself having to go back to botany books to look up 'bundled leaf scar' [and other terms] so I could try to determine from text only the difference between one specific tree from a similar one, only one of which is poisonous to my horses.
As a result, I am confused, and we have to wait until the tree completely leafs out in a month or two before we can make the determination whether to cut it down or not.
Additionally, only a fraction of the trees it contains has habitat or range maps, so I can't even tell whether I need to be concerned about a specific tree being native in my area. And in one case, the Osage Orange which grows like weeds here and has for at least a hundred years, shows a range limited to TX and S.W. AR ... 300 miles away. I've seen better tree-ident books in the book stores when I needed to look up one specific item. I wish I could remember the names of them.
On the plus side, the text descriptions are very detailed, and contain lots of interesting tidbits that you wouldn't find elsewhere. I'd suggest that you use other books unless you're actually a forest ranger or a PhD in trees.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By L. Storey on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought that the "Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees" was a very good book to read while at home, but it was difficult to use while I was actually "in the woods." I was looking for something with more illustrations and photos, and larger print wouldn't have hurt either. It would have also been simpler to use if the authors would have included all of the details, about a particular species, together in the book, rather than devoting one section to leaves of all species, another to silhouettes of all species, etc.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mhiner@juno.com on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Eastern Trees is very concise. It contains alot of photographs and drawings. It truly is a field guide not an encyclopedia. Although, there were times when I desired more information to identify trees first hand, I can't imagine how it could be fit into this pocket size volume. The only complaint I would have would be the photograph size since, they are about 2x3 inches they don't always show enough for identifying purposes. However, the book would have to be much bigger if the photographs were larger, size and cost would definitely increase.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Woodsman on July 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you like having color plates in your field guide this one is not for you. I found it difficult to work with and hard to find information I needed. For a field guide it has too much written information looking to list various tees but not enough total tree information. For instance, the buds and leaves are shown but not the tree bark or the silhouettes with each. Silhouettes are provided for types but not referenced for the various species. One has to jump around with the guide looking for information on the same specie of tree. For identifying species in the field the book falls far short. Color plates are a limited number of diagrams and sketches instead of photos, a major weakness. On a positive note, greater emphasis in locating species with maps showing growth locations is provided.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ramon P. Noens on October 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an outdoor enthusiast and was looking for a quality field guide to help with the identification of lesser known tree species, primarily in the spring, summer and early fall months. I have a very good grasp on the basic species in my area but needed help with a few species that look VERY much alike, as well as trees that fall into the rarer category.

As usual, I did as much research ahead of time as possible and ended up with three top choices. As I went through the reviews I found a reoccurring theme. The theme was that NO ONE FIELD GUIDE WILL MEET ALL YOUR NEEDS. Field guides are not textbooks and of necessity are not exhaustive because of size constraints. Each guide deals with this in its own fashion. Some are short on text and quality descriptions. Others are short on high quality pictures of leaf, bark, and general tree shape. Still others suffer from inadequate I.D. layout.

After considering all the variables, the three that ended up on the top of the list were: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American trees (Eastern Region) (NAS), Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Trees (PFG) and National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America (NWF). I live in Indiana so all three fit my location. On the upside, of the three guides the PFG has the best, most complete descriptions about the leaf, bark, fruit, ect. It is also has a pretty compact size. Of the three books mentioned it falls in the middle in size. It has a very easy to understand tree I.D. structure. I believe its weakness lies in its poor graphics and pictures. While I would recommend this book as a PRIMARY identification guide because of its thorough handling of the information, I would also recommend purchasing something to help with the visual end of the identification process.
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A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Including the Midwest (Peterson Field Guides)
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