Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Southern Woodland Trees by James Berry

I thought I would post a quick review of another book I found very useful. It is an old (1924) book, and is easy and cheap to find. The reason I found it useful is it has a very good chapter on identifying trees by their endgrain, bud structure, and leaves. It is a simpler and cheaper option before stepping up to the technical texts. Another unusual part of it is the sections on unusual trees from the south. Unusual trees can be a niche market for their lumber to the hobby woodworker. There is a break down of different oaks beyond the typical red and white. Berry also identifies the property differences among the hickories, which I have not found in any other book. Hickory was much more valuable to industry in the past so the difference in properties was important, especially strength. Each tree species has a geographical and plant description, a drawing of the leaf and fruit, tree form, occurence, distinctive characteristics, wood qualities, and uses. It is also interesting for its historical perspective on tree distribution and uses.

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