University Press of New England

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A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast
Michael Wojtech; Tom Wessels, fwd.

2011 • 280 pp. 65 maps, 434 illus. (283 color) 5 1/2 x 8 3/4"
Trees / Nature - Regional

$29.95 Paperback, 978-1-58465-852-8

“This reviewer always assumed that bark was too variable to use as a primary characteristic for tree identification, but natural history/tree researcher Wojtech has proven him wrong . . . Recommended.” —Choice

What kind of tree is that?
From Maine to New York, you’ll never be stumped again with this handy companion to the trees of the Northeast, either out in the woods or in your own backyard.

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, an easy-to-use identification key, and supplemental information on non-bark characteristics—all enhanced by over 450 photographs, illustrations, and maps—will show you how to distinguish the textures, shapes, and colors of bark to recognize various tree species, and also understand why these traits evolved.

Whether you’re a professional naturalist or a parent leading a family hike, Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast is your essential guide to the region’s 67 native and naturalized tree species.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Periderm and lenticels are generally not topics to inspire poetry or jump-start conversations, but naturalist Michael Wojtech’s Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast may change that. Packed with cocktail-party ready facts and an easy-to-use identification guide for 67 Northeastern species, the surprisingly readable text is a must-have for both tree nerds and new-to-nature types.”—Adirondack Life

“This book will be a great addition to other tree books that we use in the field. No native tree shall go unidentified!”—New York Flora Association Blog

Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast provides a unique look at some of the most majestic components of the northeastern flora and is a wonderful alternative to more traditional keys based on leaf or twig traits.”—Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society

“[Wojtech’s] book covers several dozen species, but more so, it covers the basic structure and ecology you need for a starting point.”
Daily Journal

“The section on how bark is formed and the discussion of possible advantages of different bark styles—thick bark protects from fire; photosynthesis can take place beneath thin bark—help prepare the reader for the serious business of identifying a tree just by looking carefully at its bark. But this is not as daunting a task as you might imagine: the detailed keys and descriptions and the excellent photographs make matching bark to tree an enjoyable and gratifying process.”—Virginia Barlow, co-editor, Northern Woodlands

Bark—the tissue and the book—is elegant. As part of a tree’s basic structure bark is always present, is critical to a tree’s function and survival, and provides a diagnostic feature unique to every species. This surprising and engaging volume enhances one’s vision for trees and the diverse natural history that they support. Delve into it to expand your awareness and comprehension of nature.” —David R. Foster, director, Harvard Forest, Harvard University

From the Book:

“For too long the barks of trees have been relegated to the naturalist’s back burner, but now Michael Wojtech has brought them forward and whipped them into a forested feast for our eyes. I encourage anyone who picks this book up to go forth and, just as I did more than fifty years ago, become acquainted with your sylvan neighbors by the wonderful ways they cloak their strong frames.” – Tom Wessels, from the foreword

MICHAEL WOJTECH edited the journal Whole Terrain and now researches, writes, and teaches about trees and other aspects of natural history. He lives with his family in the woods of western Massachusetts. His website is

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:07:51 -0500