Duck Duck Book

20 – northwest trees
06.26.2005, 12:02 am
Filed under: science

Northwest trees / text by Stephen F. Arno ; art by Ramona P. Hammerly.
Seattle : Mountaineers, c1977.
[MCL call number: 582 A751n; nine copies, ?? holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]

This is (obviously) a reference book to our local trees. It covers a broader area than the last tree book I reviewed, Trees of Greater Portland, by Phyllis C. Reynolds and Elizabeth F. Dimon (Portland, Or. : Timber Press, c1993, reviewed in booklist number 16), and focuses on native species.

The book begins with a “generalized view” of the Pacific Northwest, a sort of map of our region’s ecosystems with common native trees of each area represented (for example, on the north side of the mouth of the Columbia river are willows, black cottonwood, and shore pine). Then there’s a brief introduction, a key for identifying our native trees (with pictures as well as descriptions of the differences between each species), and a brief chapter discussing each major species of tree.

The chapters are beautifully illustrated with line drawings showing each tree in its native environment, details of leaves, seedpods, cones, and branching patterns, and sometimes with illustrations of the animals you’re likely to see in the tree, or of other plants that grow nearby. Each tree chapter has information on the growth habit, life cycle, and environment of the tree, as well as miscellaneous natural history, tree lore, and other bits and pieces. This is a practical book, one to take with you when you’re in the woods or anywhere where you’d like to learn more about the native trees around you, but it’s also just interesting reading about our region.

Northwest Trees has an index of common tree names at the end of the text.


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