The Sibley Guide to Trees Cover

The Sibley Guide to Trees

David Allen Sibley, the preeminent bird-guide author and illustrator, now applies his formidable skills of identification and illustration to the trees of North America. Monumental in scope but small enough to take into the field, The Sibley Guide to Trees is an astonishingly elegant guide to a complex subject. It condenses a huge amount of information about tree identification—more than has ever been collected in a single book—into a logical, accessible, easy-to-use format.

With more than 4,100 meticulous, exquisitely detailed paintings, the Guide highlights the often subtle similarities and distinctions between more than 600 tree species—native trees as well as many introduced species. No other guide has ever made field identification so clear. More than 500 maps show the complete range, both natural and cultivated, for nearly all species.

An important new contribution to our understanding of the natural world, The Sibley Guide to Trees will be a necessity for every tree lover, traveler, and naturalist. It is sure to become the new benchmark in field guides to trees.

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Praise for The Sibley Guide to Trees

“A beautiful, masterful, and much-needed work that will henceforth be our guide to the North American trees.” —Edward O. Wilson

“A wonderful companion volume to David Sibley’s superb bird books, with the same beautifully precise species illustrations and concise, clear descriptions and range maps—altogether an invaluable contribution to our nature literature.” —Peter Matthiessen, author of Shadow Country

“Unlike birds—the subject of David Sibley’s previous guide—trees of the same species can be different colors at different times of year, different sizes in different places, and even different shapes and sizes in the same place. I thought, therefore, that trees were so replete with variables that a field guide would be impossible. I hadn’t counted on Sibley’s genius with words and paint to turn the impossible into this brilliant, eminently useful, reality.” —Richard Ellis, author of Tuna: A Love Story

“I am delighted that the very talented David Sibley has ‘branched out’ to include trees. His illustrations are ideal, and the fact that he chooses to give more examples and variations than other guides will make this a very useful handbook.” —Robert Bateman, author of Birds

A Conversation with David Allen Sibley

When did your interest in trees begin?

It has always been there. I don’t think there is anything unusual about that—kids like to climb trees, imagine living in a big hollow tree, etc. When I was about 8 years old, I lived near Muir Woods so seeing the Redwoods, and smelling what I now know are California Laurel trees made a big impression on me. And I think an interest in trees follows naturally from an interest in birds—looking at birds means you are looking at a lot of trees, and when you do you start to notice different things about their twigs and leaves and bark.

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David Allen Sibley Identifies Some Trees

Why David Allen Sibley Studies Trees

Author, David Allen Sibley
About David Allen Sibley
David Allen Sibley began seriously watching and drawing birds in 1969, at age seven. Since 1980 he has traveled throughout the North American continent studying the natural world, both on his own and as a leader of birdwatching tours. This intensive travel and study culminated in the publication of his comprehensive guide to bird identification, The Sibley Guide to Birds, and to the others listed below. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: Carolynne Bailey
Also by David Allen Sibley
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