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Inhaltsangabe: "Simon & Schuster's Guide to Trees" is the most useful book any gardener and tree enthusiast can own -- a field guide for beginners and experts alike. The 300 entries cover conifers, palms, broadleafs, fruits, flowering trees, and trees of economic importance.Each entry supplies the botanical name with its etymology, the common name, and the family name of the tree, along with a full description of size, color, shape, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. Concise information is given on habitat, propagation, and conditions for growth. Also included are a detailed introduction with valuable background information, a hardiness zone map for North America, a glossary, and an index for easy reference.Whether you are interested in identifying the Staghorn sumac or in growing the tallest redwood, this handsome, comprehensive, and authoritative guide tells you everything you need to know about the wonderful and majestic world of trees.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

1 ABIES ALBA Silver Fir

Family Pinaceae. Evergreen

Etymology From the Latin abire, to go away, used here in the sense of distance from the ground to refer to the height that some species attain. Alba means white.

Habitat Grows in the mountains of central and southern Europe.

Description A tree up to 60 m (195 ft) tall with a straight, columnar trunk and smooth, ashy-white bark with resin sacs when young, later cracking and secreting resin. The leaves (1) grow in two opposite rows; they are 2-3 cm (about 1 in) long, dark green but rather lighter above, with two silver-white stomatic lines on the underside which give the tree its name of Silver Fir. The cones are erect and greenish brown, the scales have a characteristic outgrowth and fall when ripe, leaving the axis bare on the tree. (2, 3) male and female flowers. The little firs of the Apennines are not natural growths; their survival is attributed to cultivation, to the care and protection given them in past centuries by monastic orders such as those of Camaldoli, Vallombrosa, La Verna and Serra San Bruno.

Propagation By seed; shoots can only be obtained if treated with rooting hormones (auxin).

Conditions for growth Prefers climates with high rainfall, limited temperature range and cool, deep soil.

2 ABIES BALSAMEA

Balsam Fir, Balm of Gilead

Family Pinaceae. Evergreen

Etymology From its ability to produce Canada balsam, used as a cement for glass in optical instruments.

Habitat Native to Canada, from 'Alberta to Labrador and to the Atlantic slopes of the United States. It was introduced into Europe in 1697.

Description A. Balsamea can reach a height of 25 m (80 ft). The bark is brownish gray; in young specimens it has resiniferous sacs containing a yellowish oleoresin which thickens with time and is used in microscopy and optics under the name of Canada balsam. The leaves (1) are pointed, 2-3 cm (about 1 in) long and 2 mm (0.08 in) wide, sometimes glossy, sometimes grooved, grayish on the upper side; as with all firs, they leave a round scar on the branch when they fall. The male flowers are greenish yellow tinged with pink, the female are pale yellow. Like all firs, A. balsamea has erect cones with overlapping scales. They are 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long, green-gray, dark blue or olive at first, turning lavender-brown. Some varieties are very decorative.

Propagation By seed, the method most commonly used for all species of Abies. The cones should be gathered in late autumn and kept dry.

Conditions for growth The tree is hardy and tolerates cold climates well.

3 ABIES CEPHALONICA

Greek Fir

Family Pinaceae. Evergreen

Etymology The species is named after the island of Cephalonia.

Habitat Present in all the uplands of Greece and the Peloponnese as far as the Albanian border, and on the islands of Cephalonia and Euboea.

Description A very decorative species, broadly conical, seldom taller than 25 m (80 ft), with branches in regular whorls and dense, smooth, light-brown branchlets. The leaves are 2-3 cm (about 1 in) long, sharply pointed and scented; the upper side is glossy green and on the underside there are two silvery stripes, composed of stomata, separate from the venation. The cones are erect, 15-20 cm (6-8 in) long, rather slender and brownish. The bark is gray brown; it is smooth on young trees but on old trunks it begins to crack into elongated plates. The tree has a denser crown and tolerates the summer heat better than the majority of firs.

Propagation By seed; sometimes by grafting. When the cones open in the spring following the autumn in which they were gathered, the triangular seeds should be sown in a seedbed as soon as possible.

Conditions for growth Tolerates lime in the soil and also fairly arid climates.

4 ABIES NORDMANNIANA

Caucasian Fir

Family Pinaceae. Evergreen

Etymology The species is named after the Finnish botanist von Nordmann.

Habitat Native to the western Caucasus and Armenia at altitudes between 400 and 2000 m (1300 and 6500 ft), where it forms pure forests.

Description A very ornamental species, growing to 30 m (100 ft) and sometimes even as much as 50 m (165 ft) in its natural surroundings. The crown is an almost perfect pyramid of glossy dark green. The branches of young trees are downy; the bark of plants in the juvenile stage is gray, smooth and thin, but in mature trees it is rough and cracked. The leaves, 2-3 cm (about 1 in) long, are arranged like a brush and have a blunt, notched point, very sweet scented. The lavender cones, cylindrical-conical, are highly resinous, with broad, awl-shaped scales; they can grow more than 15 cm (6 in) long.

Propagation By seed planted in seedbeds. Following the common rule for the genus, the plantlets are transferred to their home as soon as they are clear of the ground.

Conditions for growth More resistant to drought than other firs. Its late shooting prevents damage from spring frosts.

Copyright © 1977, 1978 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan

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