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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Identification of Trees and Shrubs in Winter Using Buds and Twigs

For many plant lovers, winter seems like a lost time. The bursts of color and distinctive leaf shapes disappear, leaving what seems like ambiguous branches. But there is no need for botanical enthusiasts to hunker down until spring. What we overlook as “dead trees” are simply shoots covered up for the season. If we look closer, we’ll see that trees and shrubs have distinct shapes to their buds and twigs that allow them to be classified reliably in winter.

While most books focus on identifying leaves and other seasonal characteristics, this practical guide is one of the few that will allow gardeners to identify trees and shrubs while they are in their dormant state. It covers more than seven hundred species and includes easy-to-use illustrated identification keys. More than 1,400 color images make it even easier to spot the distinctive pieces of these plants.

368 pages | 8 3/4 x 11 | © 2018


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“Anyone tasked with plant identification knows that the matter is often difficult enough when the plant is in foliage. Lacking foliage, and thus having only twigs and buds to work with, presents a new level of challenges. . . What a welcomed text (this) is. The entire work is best described as lavish, not only in style, layout, and content, but also in the comprehensive treatment of plant identification in general.”

Arborist News

“An excellent resource to learn the key features for differentiating woody plants from family to genus to species. The book is at its essence a thoroughly modern textbook. . . . The book has useful and accessible chapters regarding the history of twig-identification botany, twig structure and terminology, and identification keys.”

The Canadian Field-Naturalist

“This monumental taxonomic work is one reference work that will help us all to be more confident in the identification of a comprehensive list of winter twigs and buds.”

Tony Kirkham, head of arboretum, gardens and horticultural Services, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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