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The Random House Book of Trees of North America and Europe: A Photographic Guide to More Than 500 Trees (Random House Book of ... (Garden Plants)) 1st Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0394735412
ISBN-10: 0394735412
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Ideal for plant identification and selection, this terrific series features immaculate photography (one picture for virtually every entry) and clear, concise text that discusses the physical attributes, native area, and hardiness of each plant.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

This splendid guide to tree identification contains more than 1,000 full-color photographs. Each tree is illustrated in full detail -- by leaf, flower, fruit, bark, and mature tree shape -- and is fully described in the text. A unique leaf index makes the identification of trees simple and accurate. The trees are arranged alphabetically by Latin name and an index of common names concludes the book. An indispensable companion for both the enthusiast and the botanist.

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Product Details

  • Series: Random House Book of ... (Garden Plants)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (September 12, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394735412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394735412
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Michael Paetzold ( on October 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I really looked forward to getting a copy of this book. I'm a big fan of the Random House series of plant books authored by Phillips and Rix and I was expecting something of the quality of their books on perennials and bulbs. Now the book is glossy, the photographs excellent and each tree listed is given a concise desciption of its habit and range. Particularly useful is the leaf identification guide, which is arranged in such a way that you don't have to know the meaning of "subacuminate" to discover the name of that tree you've been coveting in the neighbour's yard down the street. Unfortunately the book has several flaws. With a few exceptions, cultivars and varieties of the trees listed are not shown, so the book's usefulness, horticulturally speaking, is limited. Hardiness limits are not given. There are also some odd lapses in coverage. For example, _Cercis siliquastrum_ , Judas Tree, a European tree, is shown, while _Cercis canadensis_ , Redbud, the common North American native is not. That stalwart of the American south, the Live Oak (_Quercus virginiana_) is absent as well. For a book that purports to list "500 of the most common and important trees" this is very strange indeed. At the end of the day, the basic problem with this book is that it can't decide if it's aimed for the naturalist is the field or the horticultural enthusiast. Unfortunately, it will satisfy neither, as it is not a comprehensive guide. The beginning (and serious) gardener will want to consult instead one of Michael Dirr's excellent books; more sophisticated should see this book as a supplement, but not a replacement, for Dirr.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mario Vaden on August 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
To fill my information needs to provide the service of a Designer and Arborist, I've found that no single book is perfect, nor teaches every aspect:

Considering that, this book about Trees of North America is one of the better books for for illustrating plant parts like leaves, for plant Identification - for the money. It helps me help others.

Some books contain more tree species and cultivars - but be ready to spend 3 to 5 times more money too. And, many more expensive books, although the photos are nice, don't have the same side-by-side comparisons that this Trees of North America book has.

The photos of leaves, twigs, flowers and bark, are all enlarged sufficiently to see the details without "straining" or guessing.

If I need to take one book in-the-field with me, this is the one. The weight is appropriate for transport, and it gets the job done.

This is not what I'd call a cultural care book. It is a good plant ID and plant selection book. You will know if cones are too big, or the tree will be too small - or large.

Since tree care and selection requires several books - this will be one to include in that landscape library assortment. I own several other much more expensive books, but I still have this one, and it's not leaving my library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Longhorn Engineer on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Bought this book in hopes of identifying some Oak trees on our property at least 10 years ago. It's a frustrating book. Yes, it has lots of very good quality photos, and lots of different trees. But it falls far short of a comprehensive reference on North American trees. It is poorly organized for quick reference. Furthermore, it might have a photo with a particular tree's leaf in the leaf section of the book, but not a photo of that tree's bark in the section at the end of the book. In fact, the bark section is very lean. If you are able to quickly identify a tree with this book, it was probably a very common tree with little ambiguity and should count yourself lucky. I have tried to identify trees from this book on four different occasions and never been able to nail it. That ought to tell you something. Having said all that, trying to compile a book to identify trees is a massive undertaking, and any reference that has something another does not is probably useful. To really do it justice, you couldn't come close to it with the few pages in this book. So, several tree books is probably the best way to tackle it, and if you are looking to buy your first one, look to one with many high reviews, and at least twice as many pages as this one. I rate this book 2 1/2 stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book probably 10-15 years ago from Crown Price. Little did I know until today that Random House New York sells a book with duplicates of pages 161-176 and fails to include pages 144-160. No wonder as a previous reviewer noted, the Red Bud is not in the book. The author probably included it along with many others, but the publisher is incompetent.
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By Skylar Garnett on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book difficult to follow because of the way it was organized: all the leaves in one section, the bark in another, the shape of the tree in yet another. I still don't know what the tree is outside my window... which is why I bought the book in the first place.
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