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Winter Twigs, Revised Edition: A Wintertime Key to Deciduous Trees and Shrubs of Northwestern Oregon and Western Washington Paperback – August 1, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Oregon State University Press; Revised edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870715305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870715303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #949,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I found this book after I had already learned to identify most of the winter twigs it addresses. I wanted to use it to help with a winter twig identification field trip I was leading. It turned out to be not very useful. I did appreciate the information about phyllotaxy, leaf scars, and pith, but conveying that to beginners was cumbersome and ineffective. Further, the drawings are excellent and accurate, as far as I could tell, but they just don't look like the actual plants. Botanical drawings are most useful when they can illustrate the dimensions and relationships of the plant's parts, as in Arthur Lee Jacobsen's Wild Plants of Greater Seattle. When all you have is a bare twig, features like color and texture carry more weight. The black and white drawings seemed particularly lifeless.

If you want to learn native plant ID, and I certainly hope you do, the place to start is in spring, summer, and fall, when the plants have more distinguishing characteristics, such as leaf shape, flower color, and variety of fruit. Once you get to know these plants, then you will recognize them in winter when their leaves and fruit and flowers are gone. You will recognize them by their form, habit, and habitat. Then, after you know the plants well, observe them in winter and get to know characteristics in a natural way.

If you are dead set on identifying winter twigs even though you don't know the plants at other times of year, then you would be best off using this book together with another that has color photos and more information about habitat and range, such as Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska, by Pojar.

As a champion of native plants, I would like to give a five-star review to every book on native plants, but this book drains the life out of enjoying native plants in winter. The information is accurate (as far as I could tell) but not terribly useful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good guide to figure out twigs when there is not much else to go off.
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