field guide

field guide

Articles & Photos

Written by French botanists who explored North American forests in the late 1700s, The North American Sylva is a monumental work with masterful illustrations and extensive botanic profiles. The book would help France reforest its post-war countryside, and become a landmark in North American forestry. Today, it remains readable and interesting—certainly a work of evergreen value. 
Matt Ritter, the author of A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us, and a botany professor, talks about the difference between the cultivated and invasive trees, which trees are taking over California, and why poor neighborhoods seem to have fewer types of trees.
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Ever wish there was a Shazam for trees? LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree's species by looking at a photograph of its leaf. It's a field guide for the twenty-first century, which uses facial recognition algorithms to analyze the leaf's contour so it can find a match from its index of species.