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A Naturalist's Guide to Woodland Trees

By Laurence C. Walker

Forests explores the ecological, economic, and human influences on over thirty significant types of woodlands.



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6 x 9 | 302 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-79112-1

First published in 1990, Forests explores the ecological, economic, and human influences on over thirty significant types of woodlands. Laurence Walker focuses especially on the effects of site factors—climate, physiography, biology, and soils—upon the growth of various kinds of trees. Projects for amateur naturalists, reading lists, and a glossary make this the perfect introduction for general readers.

1. The Changing Forest: Seeds and Their Seedlings / On Roots / Ecological Succession / A Little Knowledge Is …

The Needleleaf Trees
2. Westward Wood: Douglas-fir: Taxonomic “Confusion Worse Confounded,” / Reforest-and-Stay-Put / When Clearcutting Is Not Evil / On Imitating Nature / When Fire Is Not Evil / When Red Alder Is Not Evil / Ecological Associates
3. Dwarf and Giant: Longleaf Pine: The Grass Stage / Growing Straight and Tall / A Needle Blight / Predator Pests / Seed for the Sowing / The New Forest
4. Tall Timbers: Coast Redwood: Sequoias Are Not All Redwoods / Four Factors of Site / A Conifer That Sprouts / The Shortest Distance Is Up and Down / Wood of Redwood / Tribute to the Chief
5. Murky Bottom and Droughty Land: Loblolly Pine: Indian Influences / Virgin Forest and Second-Growth / Clearcutting Is Good Ecology / Phenology / Habitat / Uses of the Trees
6. Ancient Wonders: Bristlecone Pine: Trees of the Past / Trees for the Future
7. Redcedar Riddle: Eastern Redcedar: Cedar Sites / Measurements Follow Observations
8. Enduring Giants: Giant Sequoia: Sentinels of the Sierras / Sequoia, Chief Among Trees / Big Tree, Little Seed / A Riddle / Tall Trees, Tough Men / Climb and Climate / Ancient World, Old World, and New World Meet
9. Up from the Ashes: Sand, Pond, Pitch, Jack, and Lodgepole Pines: Tree for a Sandy Land / Tree for a Swampy Land / Tree for a Barren Land / Tree for a Desecrated Land / Tree for a Rocky Land / Trees for Many Lands
10. Mountain Heights to Low Bogs: Spruce and Fir Trees: Alike, Yet Different / Distinctions Between the Spruces / Flowers and Seeds / Spruce—Fir and Wildlife / Insect and Disease Attack / Uses of the Wood / Chemical Uses / Ecological Trends / Locales / Scandinavia’s Presentation to North America / Names and Their Derivations / Big Trees Among Them / The Muskeg Bog / Appalachian Balds
11. Trees on the Range: Junipers and Pinyon Pine: “A Worthy Purpose,” / “Be It Ever So Humble,” / “The Company One Keeps,” / Extending the Range / Holding the Line / A Nature Note
12. Swamp Dweller: Baldcypress: About the Old Forest / About the New Forest / Woodland Cathedral / Blue Elbow / Knees and Swollen Butts / A Wood Worth Growing
13. Timber for a King: Eastern White Pine: Where It Grows / A Southern Highland Situation / How It Grows / A Northern Highland Situation / White Birch Nurse Trees / A Nutritional Malady / A Barren Land Reclaimed / Chemical Tests as a Tool / Foliage Symptoms for Diagnosing Ailments / An Insect Malady / Sunshine, a Malady / A Pathological Malady / An Environmental Malady / And White Pine Blister Rust
14. From Monterey to the World: Monterey Pine: At Home and Abroad / Climate Preference / Soil Preferences / Discriminating Preferences / Chromosomal Preferences / Flowers and Seeds / Mycorrhizae—The Good-Guy Fungi / Some Pros and Cons / To the World
15. Woods of Longevity: White-Cedars and Junipers: Atlantic White-Cedar / Acid Swamps / Seeds and Seedlings / Regeneration / Wildlife in These Woods / Problems for Atlantic White-Cedar / Northern White-Cedar / Northern White-Cedar Wood / From Seed to Harvest / Landscapes’ Choice/Cedars of the Brakes, the Glades, and the Basin
16. Pioneer Plant for Paper Pulp: Virginia Pine: Where They Grow / How They Grow / Christmas Trees
17. Krummholz and Elfinwood: Subalpine Fir: Associates Among the Trees / Associates Among the Lesser Plants / Associates Among the Animals / Spire-Shaped and Prostrate Habit
18. Sandhills and Flatwoods: Slash Pine: Sandhills Sites / Flatwoods Forests / Extending the Range / Scientific Exploration

The Broadleaf Trees
19. Lost Bonanza: American Chestnut: The Tree That Had Everything / A Threat That Became a Catastrophe / Salvage / What After Chestnut? / Toward a Future Chestnut
20. Oranges That Are Apples: Osage-Orange: An Old Tale / Oranges and Apples, the French and the Indians / Shelterbelts and Windbreaks / A Look at the Tree / A Drupe Fruit / Uses for the Wood
21. Cinderella Cellulose: Trembling Aspen: Bunyan’s Toothpicks / Coppice Reproduction / Single-Sex Trees / Fire Is Not Alone / Cinderella, Did We Say!
22. Living Riprap: Willows: Kin to Cottonwood / Willow Wood
23. Toxic Defense: Black Walnut: Allelopathy / Influence on Succession / Walnut Wood / Earlier Uses of the Tree / Walnut in Mythology / Appearance of a Noble Tree / Plantations / Silviculture
24. From Cotton to Cottonwood: Cottonwood: New Trees / Ecological Characteristics / Tolerance to Flooded Land / Tolerance to Arid Land / Soil Moisture Regulates Growth / Ecological Succession Begins / New Forests Not From Nature / Management Matters / Usefulness / Some Pests: Insects / Other Pests: Fungi / Still Other Pests / The Future
25. Species Proliferation: The Oaks: Casks and Pipes / Other Uses for White Oak Group Woods / Red Oak Group Wood and Its Uses / The Wood of Both Groups / Outward Appearances—Form / Leaves / Twigs / Flowers and Fruits / Spiral Arrangements / Taxonomists’ Fun and Games / Champion Trees / Problems for the Genus / How Foresters Regenerate Oaks / Biblical Beards
26. Tree Legume: Black Locust: How the Bacteria Work / Roots, a Tree’s Brain / Nitrogen Is Not a Mineral Fertilizer / Wood of Black Locust / Identifying Characteristics / Mesquite Story / Black Locust for Spoil Banks / Environmental Concern / Black Locust Problems / Final Note
27. Ship Timbers: Live Oak: What Kind of Tree Is Live Oak? / Ecological Relationships—Dunes / In the Forest / Farmland Competition / What Kind of Wood Does Live Oak Have? / The Live Oakers / Moving the Wood Pieces / Live Oak Trees and Politics / Live Oaks as Monuments
28. Stink-Bomb Tree: Ginkgo: Tree of Antiquity / A Matter of Mating / Leaf Spigots / Living Scissors
29. Forests to Fine Furniture: The Northern Hardwoods: Climax Vegetation / Where These Trees Grow / Seeds and Seedlings / Uses of the Wood / Injurious Aspects / Conflict Over Trees
30. Tropical Hardwoods: The Dipteroearps: Two Wings / Ecological Contemporaries / Reforestation Efforts / Natural Regeneration / Big Fire / Socioforestry / Exploitation and Government Edicts
31. Low-Mountain Shrubs: Chaparral: Fire and Development
32. Tree-Like Monocots: Bamboos and Palms: Bamboos / Synchrony, a Physiological Symphony / Palms / See How They Grow / Other Uses of Palm / Cabbage Palms / Royal Palm / Washington Palm / Canary Island Date Palm Problem / Roundup

The Forest—Whose Woods These Are
Forests for the Future
Further Reading

A resident of Nacogdoches, Texas, Laurence C. Walker has enjoyed a fifty-year career in forest management, research, and instruction.

"This is a hands-on guidebook for non-professionals, written to give concerned citizens an understanding of the ecological basis for decision-making by foresters. It also suggests activities, separates scientific fact from myth, and provides 'a well-rounded and exciting introduction to future foresters.'"
—Journal of Forestry

"Walker teaches his readers about the dynamics of forest life and how foresters use nature's processes for forest management. He covers the many different species of trees that grow in the U.S. and provides hands-on projects that encourage readers to experience and observe nature directly.... His deep respect for forests can only help foster environmental awareness. A glossary, index, and bibliography make this a handy guide."
—ALA Booklist

"A valuable hiker's companion or introduction for future foresters."
—Science News