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Tree Finder: A Manual for Identification of Trees by their Leaves (Eastern US) (Nature Study Guides) Paperback – January 1, 1991
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From the Publisher
This book is one of the "Finders" series of pockets guides to native plants and animals of North America, which includes similar tree keys for the West: Pacific Coast Tree Finder, Rocky Mountain Tree Finder, and Desert Tree Finder.
About the Author
In her books Reading the Landscape of America and Reading the Landscape of Europe, Watts pioneered the idea of studying natural history at the landscape level, considering the biological and cultural forces that have shaped the world around us. Her books are considered classics in landscape interpretation and field ecology.
Watts created the first Finders keys as mimeographed handouts for her students at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. She adapted the dichotomous keys used by botanists, creating highly illustrated keys that amateur naturalists would find fun and easy to use.
May Theilgaard Watts led the movement to create the Illinois Prairie Path, the first major rails-to-trials conversion in the United States. She received the Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation Education from National Garden Club of America, the Arthur Hoyt Scott award in Gardening and Horticulture, and was honored by the Dept. of the Interior and the Audubon Society for her conservation work.
More About the Author
May was born to Danish parents in Chicago, on May 1, 1893. Her first teaching job was in a one-room schoolhouse. At the start of the school year, she would take a train out to a rural school district, where she lived with a farmer's family. During the summers, she came home to her parents' house in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, and attended the University of Chicago. There, she took classes from the pioneering American ecologist, Henry C. Cowles, whose work she would popularize in her books.
After graduating from college, May she taught at a Chicago-area high school until her marriage in 1924 to Raymond Watts. While raising her family, she spoke and wrote widely about native plants and landscapes. From 1941 until her retirement, Watts worked as staff naturalist at the Morton Arboretum, west of Chicago, where she created the Arboretum's innovative education program.
May and her husband, Raymond Watts, started the publishing imprint Nature Study Guild Publishers to publish her pocket guides Tree Finder and Flower Finder.
In 1963, at the age of 70, she instigated the movement to convert an abandoned railroad right-of-way into the Illinois Prairie Path. May died in her home in Naperville, Illinois, in 1975, with a piece of unfinished writing waiting for her in her typewriter.
When Reading the Landscape was first published, in 1957, its jacket included a quote from the naturalist Edwin Way Teale: "Mrs. Watts has a valuable and original idea in considering the whole ecological interrelationship represented by each different landscape in turn." Her publisher appended a definition of the word "ecology," evidently not expecting readers to be familiar with the word.
Ecology is no longer an arcane term, in part because of May Theilgaard Watts' work, through her books, lectures, and field trips, to interest non-scientists in nature and its interrelationships.
Top Customer Reviews
If you want to read more about the tree once you have identified it, the other guides are great. But for purposes of tree identification, this is the best I have seen.
If you're a novice, get this book. It's inexpensive and offers you a great deal!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
High quality book- uses a method to ID trees that REALLY works! It was so fun to find a tree on our property that we couldn't ID right away. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Wixie
Would be better if it included things in addition to leaves. Bark, shape, fruit, etc.Published 3 months ago by Thomas R. Skonie
Cute pocket guide; has the most common trees in it, organized by leaf shape/arrangement.Published 3 months ago by AP
This Nature Study Series is hard to beat for the person wishing to know plants and understand the differences in physical characteristics. All this at a very reasonable cost.Published 4 months ago by Bruce A. Loomis
I like the book although it's not a very big book, it does help identify trees in a clear manner. I keep the book in a heavy duty small size ziplock bag which I can tuck in my bag... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lauren Nagel