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Review: The Sibley Guide To Trees

The Sibley Guide To Trees

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Review: The Sibley Guide To Trees

The Sibley Guide To Trees

David Allen Sibley just entered the realm of best American nature illustrators including Charles Sprague Sargent, John James Audubon and Roger Tory Peterson by expanding his stunning illustrative talents. Sibley shows his versatility by equaling his bird field guide with his new tree field guide. His "Guide To Trees" fully illustrates 600 tree species, including introduced species. I like what I see!

Why a Tree Field Guide?

The Sibley Guide To Trees is an exceptional field guide that could eventually become as important as Mr. Sibley's "Guide to Birds", if only because of his exceptional illustrations. Sibley selected his second field guide to be about trees because of their prominence in everyday life. Now you can ID the bird and it's tree with David Sibley books.

"A big part of the work I do is becoming intimately familiar with the things I paint, and I can see many species of trees just in my yard, in different seasons with different lighting, and can really get to know them. Trees were brought to the top of the list because I see them everyday" says David Allen Sibley. "Trees," he said, "are things that everyone sees every day."

What's in the Book?

The Sibley Guide To Trees, with 426 pages, offers more than 4,100 illustrations including images that are critical for exacting with reasonable effort a tree's identification. The guide identifies more than 600 tree species and includes a map of each natural range. Features include all common leaf and needle forms, bark, fruit and cones, flowers, twigs and tree shape.

Trees are arranged taxonomically with all the related species groups together for easier identification. OK, Sibley offers no key but you can get that on my site: Tree Leaf Identifier and Key.

Some Argue This Guide's Downside

Sibley does a jam up job on his illustrations and that alone will sell this book to a true tree lover. Still, there seems to be a loyal group of tree guide users that refuse to use illustrated guides and prefer actual photos of trees and tree parts (like the Audibon Tree Field Guide). I can't argue with that, but Sibley's guide sits along side my very used Audibon guide and I use it often and consider one of my favorites.

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