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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2006
I am a birder but always wanted to ID the trees that the birds were perched in. I first took this book out in the field to the Arboretums in San Francisco and Berkeley. I found the book easy to use for IDing native trees. I also took this book with me on a trip to the eastern Sierras and trees that I have previously looked at as "pines" turned into Lodgepole, Mountain Hemlock, Whitebark, Red and White Fir, and Jerrery Pine. It really opened up a new world for me. And naming nature is one way to understanding the wonderfully diverse tree species of the west.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2012
Frankly, I don't understand why everyone likes this book. It dedicates entirely too much space to trees that grow primarily in the east, south east, and Mexico(the author considers central Texas as "western," so any trees that touch this area from the east is included). Yes, it does have good information on many western trees and you will likely find the tree you're looking for, but if he would have stuck to, say, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and west he could have gotten more information and more photos (nearly 300 of the 400 trees in this book have no photo) in the same size book or smaller.

As a backpacker, weight is an important factor to consider when deciding whether something is worth carrying or not. Carrying this book is like throwing an extra one pound lead weight in my pack. There is at least that much information in this book that is useless to me living in Washington State. As much as I would like to take this book for the info it does have, I just can't afford to pack that much extra useless weight, and then only to be frustrated to not find a particular tree I want to identify because there's no photo (it has happened). Again, if he would have stuck to western trees only, there would no doubt be more and better information and photos of all the trees that grow predominantly in the west in the same size book.

Peterson Field Guides seem to be primarily focused on the eastern half of the United States (I understand they're outstanding for that region) and it seems they haven't strayed too far from the eastern states with this book either.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
We built a cabin in the mountains and I wanted to be able to distinguish cedars from spruce from pines from ???. We've learned so much from this book. It has exactly the right amount of information to educate without overwhelming. The book is now stuffed with leaves, needles and locations as we become educated about our environment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
Although you get the "look inside" view, when you skip between the plates, to the back (which is what the look inside does) you are missing the whole basis of the book, the TREES.
When you get there, you get some written description of what animals might eat off the tree, what medicinal purpose might be used, and poor photos of bark if you're lucky, or a distant and dark photo of a tree. (granted, this was published back in the day before everyone had a digital camera with 18 Megapixel capability) The front with illustrations of leaves is a little helpful, but I somehow thought there would be PHOTOS OF TREES in the book, or at least drawings of trees.... I guess this is just a bit outdated for 2013.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
I have to agree with Wade, another reviewer.

This book has trees from Canada, Florida in it, not sure how the author thinks thats the west.

Also, the desert southwest is barely covered. Cacti are included, so the author is considering them trees (& they are the "trees" of the southwest, thats whats here). However, cacti are given short shrift: a mere 13 pages in a 428 page book. Glaringly absent, are the very common barrel cactus, & the various prickly pear cactus, for shame! This probably stems from the fact most cacti are not 13 feet tall or more (the author's definition of a tree). However, they are the "trees" here.

In addition, the book is heavy. It has heavy, glossy paper which makes it very heavy to carry in the field. It would have been nicer with common non-glossy paper (& not weigh over a pound, 17.8 oz to be exact. Not exactly hiking or backpacking weight).

In addition, not every tree mentioned has an associated picture.

I am sorry I bought this book. The author's expertise is obviously the eastern USA, not the west.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
I bought this book for my dad for Christmas because he told me he wanted to be able to identify trees. We live in Oregon, so I was pleased to see that it has western and eastern tree options to choose from on Amazon. I was very please with the book! Beautiful illustrations and exactly what I was looking for. My dad loved it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
A good guide for trees of western north america.However not enough illustrations and nearly all the tree shapes have been omitted .
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on November 17, 2012
By far the best book I've found for identifying trees when out in the bush (and I've seen a lot of them over the years); great photos, illustrations, ID methodologies, and maps. Descriptions get right down to the details one needs for trees you're unfamiliar with.
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on October 2, 2013
I sent this as a gift to an experienced hiker. My daughter and her husband
live in CA. They do a lot of hiking. My son-in-law loves this book and told me
that it is far better than any other book of it's kind. Great book!
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on August 2, 2012
By far the best way to learn about how to identify trees using the systematic approach of taxonomy.
Whether you are a beginner or a dendrologist, this book should be on your shelf as a constant source of information.
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