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No. of Recommendations: 5
“Trees of Missouri: Field Guide,” by Stan Tekiela, Adventure Publications, Cambridge, MN, 2006. This 248-page pocket sized paperback provides two page descriptions of 119 species of trees found in Missouri. Each entry includes a photo of the leaves and small insets of bark, flowers, fruit, and seeds. Drawings show the shape of the mature tree and its leaf connections. The text describes the tree’s typical height, life expectancy, preferred habitat, origin, leaves, and fruit, together with useful notes about the tree and its characteristics: diseases that attack the tree; uses of the wood; preparation of acorns; medicinal uses; etc.

The book is organized by leaf classification. It is intended as a field guide for those walking through a forest. The insets are small. The user may seek more information (and larger photos) on a tree of interest–probably from a web search.

Those who want to decide what trees to plant will find this book a useful source. It does include much data on tree size and soil and shade preferences. Some tree types are left out. It does include the dogwood and redbud, so popular in Missouri. It omits the very common Bradford Pear. Also missing is information on common fruit trees. It describes only crab apple and wild apple and two varieties of cherry trees.

Disease descriptions include the Dutch elm disease, the chestnut blight, and diseases that kill oak trees. The book was published before the Emerald Ash Borer began to devastate ash trees.

The author is well known for his excellent field guides for identification of birds. His tree book is not quite as informative.

This book is a convenient, portable reference for those who want to identify trees. Users will find it an introduction to the subject. Most will seek additional information.
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