Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback|Change
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on September 24, 2008
This is more a concise small-format encylopedia of North American trees than a field guide. It's amazingly comprehensive, containing information on native species and a lot of cultivated imports. For a single taxon, photographs of leaves (on a white background, for clarity), bark, flowers, and fruit, along with the text, are arranged on a single page so there's no jumping around. Line art is used only to help define terms or help navigating the keys. The text contains a major identification tip to look for in each species.

As a field guide I think the identification keys are its weakest point. They start, as all lay-oriented keys, with leaf arrangement and shape, and then quickly move to flower and fruit characters. For most of the year you don't have flowers and fruits, so I wish the keys concentrated more on leaf details (margins, venation, size). Experienced enthusiasts will spend more time in the index than the keys; the inexperienced will probably spend a lot of time paging through, looking at the excellent pictures, for a pattern match. Because the guide is so comprehensive, though, there are a LOT of pictures to page through. It's printed on thick, durable paper, though this makes it rather big and heavy for the pocket.

An ideal combination might by this guide paired with May T. Watts' "Tree Finder: A Manual for the Identification of Trees by Their Leaves," only $4.00 from Amazon & truly vest pocket-sized. It has excellent keys for the layperson who lives east of the Rockies.

The Amazon price for the NWF guide makes it a steal. You won't find this much information about trees in one small volume anywhere else.

I give it 5 stars for the information & 4 as an identification guide.
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on August 16, 2011
I have written many reviews, in here, on tree field guides. I am a Certified Arborist who works in the field on a near-daily basis. I have been asked, in the "Comments" section after each review, what field guide I would recommend. I have always suggested Peterson and, I believe, Audubon. Now, I will add, and STRONGLY RECOMMEND, this guide. It simply is THE BEST guide out there, today. The photos are very clear, the descriptive passages informative. Measurements are given in inches and feet, unlike some inferior guides I've reviewed that only have metric data. I am not, by the way, trying to insinuate that metric makes those guides inferior. It's just that in the US, we have an easier time with SAE. This guide is a pleasure to use. It makes for interesting reading on its own, even if you're not doing ID work. So, in closing, if you need a great field guide, or if you want to read up on the trees of N. America, THIS is the book!
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on March 27, 2012


So before I bought this one I had the Field guides for Insects and bugs and birds of North America (separate books). I used those for a science project and found it absolutely useful and a must have! I bought the two from Barns and Nobles and decided that I needed a cheaper price if I was going to get the one on trees and Amazon of course had it :)

I'd recommend this book to beginners through advanced! I'm a beginner and I was able to spot things right off the bat and I love being able to identify the world around me! I also ordered the one on Wild Flowers so that'll be coming in soon :) I would really say this is a book that should be in ever house hold because we should all be able to identify at least a little of the world we live in. AND this has maps included so you know exactly where the tree is!! I'll include a video so you can see it!!

Happy exploring!
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on March 21, 2011
This book rocks. It's by far the best tree guide out there. There are several things that make it really unique. First each tree has an ID tip to help distinguish that tree. The authors don't blindly identify each tree, but also make note of possible ID problems you might encounter (if a characteristic of one tree is similar to another). It also will show pictures of trees that best help you identify the tree (not just show the silhouette of the crown, or drawing/picture of a leave or bud). The guide is smart in that it shows you unique characteristics about that particular tree and has real, full color pictures. Aside from highlighting key features, it also still describes all the features (fruit/leaf/bud size, shape, color, etc) you'd expect. While the guide does provide some natural history with trees, it's mostly for identification. I've looked around a lot for a good tree ID book and this is the best one by far. The only down size is it's a little big (it covers all of North America), but I'll trade that for the content and quality any day.
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on October 13, 2010
I'm just a regular guy who has an unexplainable interest in trees. I've tried several books and attempted to navigate their various structures for reference. This book tops them all in ease of use. The set up is so easy to follow to find a tree you are trying to identify. The pictures are wonderful and accurate. It has a nice cover that is "waxy" for a damp situation. I have not attempted to identify a tree yet that I could not locate within this book. I looked at so many books trying to find one that is useful to the average guy, and i've finally found it.
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on August 31, 2008
I have had and looked at dozens of ID books, and they all have ups and downs.This, as far as I can tell, has little to no downs. It has a wonderful layout with pictures and text together...no more flipping back and forth! It also is organized so that you can search by leaf type. Even if you don't know how to tell the difference...the info on how to tell the different leaf patterns is all at the front of the book.
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on July 12, 2015
If you have some big pockets, you can carry this tome with you on your hike. Otherwise, take good notes and use this to look it up when you get home. It's all there. If you are planning a career in forestry, however, this might well be your new best friend.
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on April 9, 2015
This is a good book for people like me who know a little about trees (took a class in collage) or are just starting out. The thing this has going for it is the real pictures of leaves and fruit and or nuts of the trees. Nice book overall.
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on September 22, 2015
Really well put together book in full color. Provides lots of information for identifying tree types in general, and has great information for identifying specific trees. I do wish they had a map for every single species, and I do with the book had a bit more width to it, but it is a field guide, so it's hard to fault them on that. The cover also claims to be waterproof. Reminds me a bit of the Readers Digest guide for North American Wildlife I loved looking at as a child.
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on January 5, 2015
The book does a great job of putting the trees in categories that make them easier to find in the book. the only thing I don't like about the book is it does not give you any information about the tree.
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