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Comment: Paperback with same cover as shown. (2008, 1st printing. National Wildlife Federation / Sterling.) Shows light edge wear with some spine creasing. No markings noted. Binding and spine are solid.
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National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America Paperback – May 9, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bruce Kershner is an award-winning naturalist and an authority on America's old-growth forests. He is the author of ten previous books, including four on ancient forests. Cofounder of the New York Old Growth Association, he has discovered more than 150 ancient forest sites, including many of the tallest and oldest trees in the Northeast. He makes his home near Buffalo, New York. Robert T. Leverett is a specialist on eastern old-growth forests. He is the Cofounder of the Eastern Native Tree Society; Cofounder and Executive Director of Massachusetts' Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest; and principal architect of the Ancient Eastern Forest Conference Series. Leverett is also the coauthor of several books and numerous articles on old-growth forests. He lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Gil Nelson is a writer, naturalist, field botanist, and educator in Thomasville, Georgia. He is a research associate in botany at the Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium at Florida State University and has written widely about Florida and the southeastern United States. His works include three field guides to Florida plants, a guide to native landscape plants, and coauthorship of two Audubon field guides. This is his tenth book. He is also the author of "East Gulf Coastal Plain Wildflowers," published by The Globe Pequot Press.
Gil also teaches relational database programming and geographical information systems, with a particular interest in the design, development, and uses of relational database technology and GIS for the management and use of biological and botanical data. His hobbies and interests include hiking, wildflower and landscape photography, the phytogeography of the southeastern United States, plant ecology, and the structure and composition of natural vegetative communities.


Las Cruces, New Mexico resident Richard Spellenberg has a doctoral degree in botany and is Professor Emeritus of Biology at New Mexico State University. He has studied plants in western North America, particularly those of the desert Southwest, contributing to technical classification works and several books on wildflowers and general ecology.


Daniel Mathews is a writer who has always been enamored of views from mountains. He is the author of Cascade-Olympic Natural History and Rocky Mountain Natural History.

Brenda C. Roberts lives in Los Angeles, California, and this is her second book for children.
Frank Morrison lives in New Jersey. This is his first book.


Paul Cox has illustrated numerous books for children and adults, and his drawings have been published in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and other periodicals. He lives in Sussex, England.

Gerry Moore, who died shortly after delivering the manuscript for this book, was a cycling writer, with a strong interest in the arts.
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Product Details

  • Series: National Wildlife Federation Field Guide
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (May 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402738757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402738753
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Paperback
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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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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