Forest Trees focuses on species selected by the criteria that they are of importance to the timber industry, conspicuous in the landscape, or of environmental importance. It contains a total of 137 eucalypt species and 86 non-eucalypts, including more rainforest species, which had previously been omitted.
The book uses black and white photography rather than colour, and by and large this is extremely effective – especially in the detailed shots of leaf venation, which come up well using a unique flash photography technique. There is also extensive use of scanning electron micrographs (S.E.M.) for showing unique botanical detail, which can be seen with the naked eye or aided by a small handlens, but which aren’t possible to photograph with traditional macrophoto-graphic techniques.
Also included are photos of seedlings grown from authenticated seeds. The particular advantage of this book is the inclusion of images showing several phases of leaf growth – such as juvenile, intermediate and adult. All the detail photographs come with a graduated rule in centimetres, to indicate the size of objects being viewed. There is also an attempt to include two different photos of the bark, one of a young tree and the other of a mature tree – which can be surprisingly different. Drawings illustrating the meaning of botanical terms for leaf shapes, apices, bases edges and venation, cross-sections of leaf blades, floral bud opercula, bud shapes, fruit shapes, fruit discs, and fruit valves are included. The greater the number of visual factors taken into account, the more accurate the assessment will be.
Unless you’ve got four generations of bush men in your blood, and can identify a Flindersia bourjotiana by smell and taste, this book (together with Field Guide to Eucalypts) is your best bet for accurately identifying trees in the wild.
Photos: Black & White with Colour Section
Units of Measurement: Metric
Authors: Boland, Brooker, et al
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