Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trees–Smithsonian Nature Guide

9780756690397LTrees – Smithsonian Nature Guide
Published at DK Canada

About the book

A new generation of illustrated natural history handbooks, produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution.

The new DK Nature Guides form a comprehensive, accessible, and informative series of illustrated reference books that tackle key natural history subjects in DK's inimitable style.

From beech to buttonwood, pear to polar, walnut to weeping willow, Nature Guide: Trees is packed full of stunning images that reveal intricate details and unique characteristics of each tree, whether a spore, seed, or flowering tree.


  • Stunning images revealing intricate details and unique features of specimens
  • Expert writing and research by specialists
  • Clear, concise, and informative text bring the subjects to life
  • Specially commissioned close-up photography and illustrations
  • Carefully structured profiles ensuring it is easy to locate key information
  • Entries organized in intuitive categories or groupings for ease of reference

My Thoughts

When I was a girl guide – many years ago – I had learned to identify plants and trees in the forest as part of my learning and camping experience.    But not having practiced for so many years, I am quite a bit rusty in that subject of identification of trees.   So imagine my surprise and my delight when DK Canada send me a copy of the book Smithsonian Nature Guide Trees along with other books on nature.   

The book begins with an explanation of what are trees, how they work, the different kind of habitats where a tree can grow as well as tips on how you can identify a tree.   Then you get numerous pages dedicated on specific kind of trees whether they are spore trees, seed trees, ginkgos, conifers, and flowering trees.   Each specie had its own page with information to help you learn more about it.    For example, the profile box will give you data on how tall and wide the tree can become, the type of tree and its needles and where you can find it.   You also have an image of the branch and leaves as well as the bark.    You will get the latin name and a small description of the tree.  

While visiting the Royal Botanical Garden in May, we stumble on a magnificent tree that was full of yellowing flowers.   It was a Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum watereri ‘Vossii’).  So I was curious to see what the book said about this tree.   Unfortunately, I didn’t find this specific kind of Laburnum but I learned that the one I have seen was an hybrid between the Laburnum alpinum and the Laburnum anagyroides which produces larger flowers in greater profusion.   These trees can be up to 9 meters high and 5 meters wide.   The flowers were out of the ordinary and we really liked seeing them when we were at the Royal Botanical Garden – to the point that I wouldn’t mind having one in my backyard one day.


As an homeschooler, I love to take my kids out in the wood and discover the nature around us.   Having this book will definitively help us to identify the kind of trees we encounter.   I would have preferred a book which would be dedicated on the type of vegetation found in the woods in Canada but this one is a a good alternative.

If you wish to explore new grounds this summer, I would strongly suggest that you consider discovering the woodlands close to your home.   Having great books will help you to identify and learn more about the animals, birds, vegetation you will encounter.   The Smithsonian Nature Guide Trees is the perfect book to help you learn more about the trees you will see.

The Smithsonian Nature Guide Trees is available at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca.

Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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