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Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Guide to Using, Growing, and Propagating North American Woody Plants Hardcover – June 12, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Nursery manager and propagator at the Garden in the Woods of the New England Wild Flower Society, Cullina has written a companion to his excellent The New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada. Here he covers trees, shrubs, and vines native to temperate North America. A brief introduction covering general cultural information and how to use the book is followed by the "Encyclopedia of Plants," arranged alphabetically by genus, then species. Each genus entry introduces the genus and includes culture, uses, attraction to wildlife, and propagation methods. The following species entries contain USDA hardiness zones, soil type, native region, size, and flower season and color, ending with a descriptive paragraph. Color photographs complement the text. The final section explains propagation methods in general, then gives detailed information, by genus, on the best way to propagate each. Appendixes include plants for specific sites/uses, native alternatives to potentially invasive exotic species, sources of native plants (nursery propagated), native plant societies, and botanical gardens/arboreta featuring native plants. Cullina's writing is a pleasure to read beautifully descriptive, informative, and personal. His useful, authoritative work is highly recommended for North American libraries. Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A comprehensive reference book on North American native woody plants. (B)ecause Cullina is a knowledgable, passionate lifelong plantsman and a good writer, it's fascinating to dip into (Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines) anywhere. The cultivation advice is clear, and entries on individual plants are enriched by personal anecdote, informed opinion and historical knowledge." - Chicago Tribune

"Essential. . . written in lively, informative language. . . an inspired effort and loaded with useful information. (Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines) offers information that is considerably more helpful and interesting than the facts one finds in most plant reference books." - Green Bay Press-Gazette

"(Bill Cullina) writes with a clarity and liveliness that makes you want to keep reading. . . his descriptions make (Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines) hard to put down." - The Oregonian

"Outstanding." - Denise Cowie, syndicated garden columnist

"'Must have' for any gardener who is concerned about the environment." Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Cullina's writing is a pleasure to read - beautifully descriptive, informative, and personal. (Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines) is highly recommended." Library Journal Starred

"A useful tool for both novice and accomplished gardeners." - Science News

"(Native Trees, Shrubs, & Vines is) an important book for professional nurserymen. Cullina also writes so well that this is the rare encyclopedia that can be read for pleasure. This handsome well-designed volume is an excellent value." Boston Globe
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (June 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618098585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618098583
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Smith on June 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Cullina has struck a great balance in this book. Every time I pick it up I'm amazed at how it is both an informative reference and a very enjoyable read.

Bill (can I call him that?) understands there are just as many amateur gardeners as there horticulturalist. In this book, he struck a balance with both audiences. For instance, I'm not a big fan of Latin plant names: I prefer to know the background of a plant, what it needs to thrive, its purpose, etc... When I look up a plant in this book, I get so much more. This makes the informative process extremely enjoyable as well as educational. Bill also gives phonetic spelling of the plants. It helps when you go to the nursery you'll feel less intimated by those who seem to speak Latin.

For instance, I just bought 5 Artemisia plants to go with purple coneflower, Salvia, Russian Sage, etc... Looking Artemisia up in Native Trees Shrubs and Vines, I found out it is actually sagebrush (tumbleweed) from the wild west as well as the extreme hardiness of the plant, its background, how to cultivate it, use it, etc... The style of the writing made the process extraordinarily enjoyable.

PS: I've been meaning to write a review of this book for 2 years now. When I read about Artemisia a few minutes ago, it compelled me to leave the garden to write this review. I can't say enough about this book other then it's one of my top 3 favorites on gardening. I actually took 10 minutes out of a beautiful Sunday morning to write this review. Now, it's back to the garden & Bill's book for me :-)
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Format: Hardcover
Even though a hard cover reference book isn't usual bedtime reading for me-I couldn't put this down. Each plant is described so personally yet so expertly. Gardening with woody plants is a commitment, and this book provided the insight and knowledge I needed to make choices confidently. The language of the book is wonderful-it is as if the author is chatting with his latest native plant buddy-you. The lists and organization of information is very helpful.
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Format: Hardcover
William Cullina, of the New England Wild Flower society, is a highly regarded expert in Native plants. This book is the woody counterpart to his Wildflower book. Included are tips on using, growing and propagating these native wonders in North America. The photography and information provided are a source like none other. This is a must have for anyone interested in restoring the ecology of the landscape through the use of natives - beginners and experts alike - an excellent reference.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a valuable guide to native woody plants. The habits, landscape value, propagation and culture of most( a few are missing) of the important plants are described in a very readable manner. Cullina clearly draws from a deep well, I had the impression that he had much more that he could have included, but what is here is great.
There are a couple of criticisms. The photos are relativly sparse compared to the recent books by Dirr or Darke and are not at all well-reproduced. One picture per genus just ain't enough when there is such wonderful variation within genera. Also, the pronunciation guide for Latin plant names is occasionally bizarre...since when does "Aesculus" have four syllables? (But maybe he is right I couldn't find any native Latin speakers to ask) Finally, the book has a clear East coast bias. Although there are many Western US plants that are mentioned, I suspect that many are missing.
Buy this book for the prose.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cullina is a genius. This is my second book of his that I have purchased for reference and as a local guide. It is very helpful for those that want to propagate native trees, shrubs and vines. His other book, Wildflowers, is a must-have as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Cullina (Author), writes in a knowledgeable, practical way. He is very understandable, not like a text book, but like a teacher who knows his topic and speaks plain English. I would buy any of William Cullina books on nature and native plants to North America. I bought this book, and all the others by this Author.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great reference book, well organized and well written. My first choice for a tree and shrub guide is Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs, but since it is out of my price range I believe that William Cullina's book is by far the next best book on this subject. It's a great guide and also enjoyable to have around to browse through. My only regret with this book is that the illustrations are not always of the whole plant and there aren't enough of them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book informative and well written. Good books on native trees, shrubs, and vines are hard to find, and I am happy to have this reference in my gardening library. It offers excellent cultural advice. I highly recommend it.
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