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Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Many people know how to identify trees by their leaves, but what about when those leaves have fallen or are out of reach? With detailed information and illustrations covering each phase of a tree’s lifecycle, this indispensable guidebook explains how to identify trees by their bark alone. Chapters on the structure and ecology of tree bark, descriptions of bark appearance, ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by University Press of New England
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4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Mike Shultz
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
For a tree lover, just finding a book that focuses on bark earns it high marks. The author developed his own key to bark characteristics for identifying trees in the northeast. There were many facets of the book I loved, from the wonderful photographs to the effect of age on bark (something I haven't seen addressed in other tree ID books.) I also really liked the section on bark ecology. Know I know why some trees have shaggy bark that flakes off while others have smooth bark (among other fun ti ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is not only an excellent field guide, but also provides much more detailed information about the structure and biology of tree bark than any of the other tree books I have read. The illustrations are clear and well labeled. The photos are likewise very clear and useful.
If I were to have one complaint about the book, it would be that I wish it were formatted in a slimmer form (a la the Audubon field guides) so as to better slip into a pocket for carrying into the woods.
If I were to have anot
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great handbook to have in concert with one or two others for identifying trees. It goes close up to the tree trunk like I like to do, but it knows what it is looking at and describes it with enough visual clues that, using the photo and the text I can feel more certain when I am guessing at what kind of tree I am standing before, even in midwinter.

As with all of the books and as with accomplishing anything in life, practice improves my eye, my skill. But this book helps a lot.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun and interesting, fresh take on tree identification!
Erin Piorier
This is a clever and unique field guide. Micahael Wojtech sets out to make a tree identification guide with bark as the main criteria. It's written in an engaging and accessible manner. He introduces and makes use of botanical terminology but also uses metaphors and descriptive non-scientific language to help the layperson understand the concepts and terminology. The chapter on bark ecology is great reading for anyone interested in trees, the injuries and illnesses they suffer, how they heal the ...more
Heidi Kuchta
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like trees, you'll love this little book with its myopic focus on tree bark. I'll admit I skipped right past all the technical, scientific factoids straight to the up-close shots of bark, accompanied by its species name, habitat, and other notes. Delighted and lulled by the variant patterns and vast array of brown shades, I must say I never knew tree bark could be this good. I also really like the blurbs by each photo. They read like poems, "Gray to brown. Ridges become rough, more rounde ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Michael Wojtech is brilliant and I will forever be glad that he published with Tom Wessels! My favorite part lately is the few pages about the spruces, because they really are difficult to distinguish. I mean, we can look at soil moisture to guess if its red or black spruce, but in truth you have to look under the skin...A black spruce has yellowish or olive green bark underneath the outer corky, rough, thick bark layer. The others are either orange or reddish-brown, but I won't give it all away ...more
Logan Hughes
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book proposes a framework for thinking about and classifying bark that transformed me from "person who can't tell one tree trunk from another or even think about the differences" to "person identifying patterns in nature almost unconsciously." The first part of the book introduces the framework and gives examples; the bulk of it is a field guide to identifying trees of the Northeast USA by their bark. Finally, a way to play "identify the tree" in the winter! I love bark!!
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bark-Bark! The new favorite hobby of this newbee master gardener. Now I'm fascinated by bark. I want to be able to describe bark. Bark-Bark! Like it sheds, or curls, or it's like vertical shingles, or horizontal shingles, or latice-like. How do you pronounce lenticle? Anyway, even though the book is a field guide for the northeast, and I live in the west, bark's a lot alike all over the place. Now I stare at tree trunks all the time.
A.a. Grapsas
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Will really give you a new appreciation for the wonderful outer layer of trees. You will never walk by a friendly tree again without thinking how the bark was formed, what conditions led to the tree's development, and, just possibly, identifying what tree is sharing your world space.
J. D.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I look forward to foeld-testing this book.
Dov Zeller
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Learned a lot about bark formation, which is explained beautifully and endlessly interesting. Whether or not I will be able to identify trees by their bark, that is another question.
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
the section on bark ecology is fascinating! absolutely expanded my understanding of trees
Earle Baldwin
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow. A usable key
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good guide and the chapters are very interesting too.
How did he get the quarters to stick to the trees?
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