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City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, D.C. (Center Books) [Paperback]

Melanie Choukas-Bradley , Polly Alexander

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Book Description

15 July 2008 Center Books
Washington, D.C., boasts more than three hundred species of trees from America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and "City of Trees" has been the authoritative guide for locating, identifying, and learning about them for more than twenty-five years. The third edition is fully revised, updated, and expanded and includes an eloquent new foreword by the "Washington Post's" garden editor, Adrian Higgins.In the introduction, Choukas-Bradley describes the efforts of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other prominent Washingtonians who helped the nation's capital evolve into the "City of Trees," a moniker regaining popularity thanks to present-day efforts encouraging citizen participation in tree planting and maintenance.Part 1 gives the reader a guided tour of the nation's capital, highlighting historic and rare trees of the urban canopy. Part 2 is a comprehensive, simply worded, and fully illustrated botanical guide to the magnificent trees of the nation's capital and surroundings. The guide also includes botanical keys, an illustrated glossary, exquisite pen-and-ink drawings by Polly Alexander, and color close-up photographs of flowering trees, many by the nationally acclaimed photographer Susan A. Roth.What to look for in the new edition are: added locations: the FDR Memorial; the Smithsonian Institution gardens; the Tudor Place grounds; the Bishop's Garden of the Washington National Cathedral; Audubon Naturalist Society sanctuaries; and much more. It presents the "City of Trees" history from 1987 to 2007, including the establishment of Casey Trees and the importance of the urban canopy in the twenty-first century. It features twice as many pages of color photographs, new species descriptions and illustrations, and added habitat information.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press; 3rd Revised edition edition (15 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813926882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813926889
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 13.7 x 3.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,305,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Definitive.... [The] book is not only full of trees, buds, catkins, berries... it is also full of history." - Christian Science Monitor"

About the Author

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is the author of Sugarloaf: The Mountain's History, Geology, and Natural Lore (Virginia) and An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees (Virginia). She is a long-time contributor to the Washington Post, a field botany instructor for the USDA Graduate School, and a field trip leader for the Audubon Naturalist Society. Polly Alexander lives in Essex Junction, Vermont, with her husband and son. Since City of Trees was first published in 1981, she has worked at an advertising agency, owned a graphic design firm, and illustrated numerous books and articles.

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In 1790, President George Washington was granted the authority to oversee the selection of a site for a permanent national capital. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Field Guide Like No Other 3 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very readable and extensively researched look at the trees of Washington D.C. It's an excellent field guide for identifying trees, but the thing I like most about it is that it tells the fascinating stories behind so many of the trees planted in D.C. If you live near D.C. and have even a mild interest in its history, I strongly recommend this book!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photography and engaging text 5 Nov 2006
By Michael S. Dobson - Published on Amazon.com
I originally bought Melanie Choukas-Bradley's CITY OF TREES in its hardcover coffee-table edition and have followed its evolution since. As a Washingtonian of some thirty years' standing, I was originally unaware that this beautiful city was ever known as the City of Trees, but now that I've read Melanie's book, I've looked at the city through different eyes. Though the cherry blossoms are the best-known trees of the city, there's so much more, from the sights in every neighborhood through the rich diversity of our parks. DC is a beautiful city, and there's not nearly enough in print to show and share that beauty. Get this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tree-lover's delight 11 Feb 2009
By Lady Wesley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having worn out my copy of the second edition, I put this edition on my Christmas list. It does not disappoint. A cross between a tour guide and a field guide, it's just the right size for carrying around on your expeditions. You'll learn about the capital's history as well as its magnificent trees.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable Guide for DC Tree Lovers 17 Jun 2009
By Kirsten Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you live in DC, or visit regularly, you've probably wondered, what are those lovely trees in that park I always walk past? If you tried to identify them with one of the usual field guides, such as Peterson, you probably didn't get far because so many of DC's trees are Asian and European species. 'City of Trees' is almost guaranteed to solve the mystery. I also enjoy taking the book along on visits to the DC area's many beautiful outdoor monuments and parks. It's much more than a guide to trees. For example, the section on Mount Vernon gives us a nutshell history, with emphasis on George Washington's interest in trees, noting a number of trees dating to his lifetime that still stand on the grounds. This book is a worthwhile addition to your tote bag whenever you're doing the tourist thing in DC.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Small Project at the Right Time becomes a Career 18 Mar 2014
By Proud Male - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Melanie Choukas-Bradley took up a small project to interpret Washington's trees for a larger audience. Her work has become a life's work because she saw the big picture and followed where it led. Now she has set the standard for any urban landscape by giving us a guidebook, a reference, and everything anyone would want to know about Washington DC "The City of Trees." The book includes suggested walks, explanations of the trees, citations of outstanding specimen, and fantastic drawings and photographs. Absolutely the gold standard of walking tour guidebooks
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