BOOK REVIEW (& Giveaway!): Trees to Know in Oregon

Trees to Know

Trees to Know in Oregon, by Edward C. Jensen (Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Extension Service, 2010), 152 pp.

Do you want to get to know the different species of trees in Oregon? The Extension Service at Oregon State University has a wonderful guide, simply titled Trees to Know in Oregon. This book was originally published in 1950 and was updated in 2010 and went through several editions between. Trees to Know in Oregon, by its latest author Edward C. Jensen, has been a long-trusted guide in the state, and I am happy to have a copy to add to my regional natural history shelf.

The first section of the book is all about how to identify trees, and I will find this very useful. As with most natural history – wildflowers, insects, mushrooms, etc. – I only know a few standard species, but enjoy taking photographs and identifying later. But this book is not a weighty one, and would easily slip into a backpack. The bulk of the book is, of course, the identification of individual species, and is split into three parts: Native Conifers, Native Broadleaved Trees, and Common Horticultural Trees. Full-color photographs show the various parts of the trees, and much more than descriptive information is given for each tree. The author includes historical and cultural information, as well. The final chapter is an overview of forests in Oregon, describing 11 types, as well as what forests in Oregon were like in the past (this touches on geologic and paleobotanical history).

I now have three things to tell you about Trees to Know in Oregon:

1. To celebrate Arbor Day (April 26), the OSU-Extension Service is currently having a sale on Trees to Know in Oregon through April 26, from $18 down to just $12 (click on the image to order):

TTK Online

2. The author, Ed Jensen, will be signing copies of Trees to Know in Oregon at the World Foresty Center on April 24, from noon to 1pm. Following that, he will give a tree walk at the nearby Hoyt Arboretum starting at 1:30pm from the visitor center.

3. The OSU-Extension Service kindly sent me two copies of Trees to Know in Oregon to do a giveaway on my blog:

The giveaway:

To enter for a chance to win a copy of Trees to Know in Oregon, please comment on this post telling me what your favorite tree is or a cool fact about an Oregon tree. From the entries I will randomly pick a winner. The contest will be open until Wednesday, April 17, midnight PST. If you would like to enter without commenting, you can send me an email at darwinsbulldog AT gmail DOT com. Good luck!

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16 Responses to BOOK REVIEW (& Giveaway!): Trees to Know in Oregon

  1. Nevenka says:

    The Doug Fir is actually a pine tree (not a fir.)

  2. My favorite tree natural-history wise is the Western Redcedar. I love its red, almost-striped bark! But lately, I’ve loved looking at the Magnolia blossoms as well 🙂

  3. Annie Lawrence says:

    Tsuga heterophylla, western hemlock, is my favorite. I love it’s delicate look of droopy branches and softly cluttered needles, especially when it is covered in a light dusting of snow on a winter hike.

  4. Janice Bartholomew says:

    I love the Douglas Fir because it’s branches reach upward like it is saying, “I’m a happy tree!”

  5. Sally Mackey says:

    Though, at a glance, they look very much the same, the Nobel and Shasta Fir are in fact different. Though I connect each one with our very specific holiday trees, my Dad always clearly let us know…there was a difference.

  6. MattSE60th says:

    Nice review of what seems like a must-have for my library. Thanks!

    One of my favorite Oregon native trees is the Cascara (Rhamnus persiana). I love its thick, dark green leaves (with nice yellows and reds in the fall). The small flowers attract lots of honey bees and other pollinators. A shaded understory tree in the wild, but the ones in my yard do well in full sun. The dried bark has been used for centuries as an herbal laxative.

  7. Nola Train says:

    I’d have to say the Douglas-fir is my favorite because of all the many memories I have of them, from growing in the yard to cutting down for Christmas trees. I also have to add that I have an older version of this book that we were just using yesterday as we were studying the trees in our yard with the kids! Mine is from 1994 and has seen lots of use and years, but still serves us well. I even keep in in our camp trailer in the summer so we can identify trees together on camping trips! Such a great resource!

  8. Megan says:

    My favorite is definitely the Ponderosa Pine. I grew up in NE Oregon and the Ponderosa was one of the first trees I learned to identify as child.

  9. Karen says:

    Favorite tree right now is the Pacific Madrone, reminds me of the coast and how cool is the colorful peeling bark!

  10. accidentalsubjects says:

    My favorite tree here is the Port Orford Cedar. It smells wonderful to walk along them. Plus they are very popular in other countries like Japan. And it’s really useful.

    Thanks to writing this. I now know it’s not even a cedar but a cypress tree! Lawson Cypress.

  11. Dorena says:

    The Limber Pine in Eagle Cape Wilderness. It may be the oldest tree in Oregon. It has been dated back to the year 1141.

  12. K Pennington says:

    The western red cedar was called the Tree of Life by native Americans and provided them with most of the things they needed from birth (diapers) to death (coffins) except food. And it provided them the tools they needed to get and cook their food. I can’t think of anything we have today that is so versatile and useful.

  13. Hard to choose just one, but it would have to be Arbutus menziesii, Pacific madrone. The contrasting tones of orange and green colors in the bark and leaves is gorgeous. I’m envious of my brother who lives in southern Oregon — he burns madrone for firewood, it is so common. I’m often scheming to find a neglected dry spot in my back yard to plant one…

  14. Pingback: BOOK REVIEW (& Giveaway!): Shrubs to Know in Pacific Northwest Forests |

  15. Jim Wilson says:

    This is an amazing book in the detailed information found in its’ pages.
    I admire the Sitka Spruce. Last weekend I observed spruce “stumps” that are known to be Ghost Forest trees from Oregons’ January 1700 earthquake. These stumps of over 300 years old have new Spruce trees sprouting today!

    Thank you for sharing this book with us!

    Jim

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