A Celebration of Trees

The Sibley Guide to Trees is a beautiful reference book that deserves a place of honor in any library. It would however, be a shame if it languished on a bookshelf. The guidebook really belongs outside, in the hands of nature lovers and the eco-curious, being handled and notated and devoured with enthusiasm. It’s the latest gem from David Allen Sibley, who is best known as the author and illustrator of the renowned bird-watching field guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds. The new guide grew out of David’s concern for habitat preservation and environmental health, and his belief that learning about trees is a great way to begin understanding our natural world. Illustrated with 4,100 amazingly detailed paintings, The Sibley Guide to Trees identifies more than 600 species of North American trees, organized by taxonomy so readers can recognize similarities among closely related species. More than 500 maps show the range of the tree species. The Sibley Guide to Trees is a work of art and jam-packed with information, but it’s also accessible: You don’t have to be a scholar to be drawn into David’s celebration of trees. Plus it’s small enough to take along on a hike or bike ride – which is just where it belongs.

The Sibley Guide to Trees

by David Allen Sibley

A Celebration of Trees

The Sibley Guide to Trees is a beautiful reference book that deserves a place of honor in any library. It would however, be a shame if it languished on a bookshelf. The guidebook really belongs outside, in the hands of nature lovers and the eco-curious, being handled and notated and devoured with enthusiasm. It’s the latest gem from David Allen Sibley, who is best known as the author and illustrator of the renowned bird-watching field guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds. The new guide grew out of David’s concern for habitat preservation and environmental health, and his belief that learning about trees is a great way to begin understanding our natural world. Illustrated with 4,100 amazingly detailed paintings, The Sibley Guide to Trees identifies more than 600 species of North American trees, organized by taxonomy so readers can recognize similarities among closely related species. More than 500 maps show the range of the tree species. The Sibley Guide to Trees is a work of art and jam-packed with information, but it’s also accessible: You don’t have to be a scholar to be drawn into David’s celebration of trees. Plus it’s small enough to take along on a hike or bike ride – which is just where it belongs.

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • David
    David

    I’m happy that the Daily Grommet team has chosen to commemorate the first day of fall by sharing my new book, The Sibley Guide to Trees with you. No other time of year do our trees garner so much attention as they do when they become emblazoned with the breathtaking colors of fall; when a canopy of varying shades of green becomes a patchwork of color as each tree’s unique personality comes through.

    In my book I have illustrated the unique personalities of each tree in America in each of its seasons, so that you can easily identify and learn about the trees that surround you. I hope that this book becomes a reference book that helps you and your family connect deeper with the wonders of the natural world around you.

    I have a busy day today but look forward to reading your comments and responding to any questions tonight or tomorrow!

  • LindaB
    LindaB
    9/22/2009 12:18 PM

    Mr. Sibley, we own two of your bird books, have given them as gifts and refer to them often. You are a gifted artist and can describe the birds so well. We look forward to your new tree book!

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer – Grommet Team
    9/22/2009 12:19 PM

    David-After watching the video I had an even greater appreciation for your paintings and drawings in this book. They are beautiful! I have just the person to give this to for the holidays!

  • Sharon
    Sharon
    9/22/2009 12:50 PM

    My in-laws have the Sibley bird guidebook and love it! They have lots of birdfeeders outside their kitchen window and the grandkids love watching them and trying to figure out what they are. A tree book sounds interesting for them especially if it is as beautiful as the bird book.

  • Joanne
    Joanne
    9/22/2009 1:14 PM

    David Allen Sibley will be checking in here at Daily Grommet periodically today. He's engaged in a number of interviews related to today's book launch so leave your questions and be sure to check back later for the answers. I wanted to add that Davids' illustrations are magnificent and the information is interesting and understandable. You'll become an instant expert in identifying every shade bearer around..:))

  • Jana
    Jana
    9/22/2009 2:00 PM

    Beautiful book.

  • Wendy
    Wendy – Grommet Team
    9/22/2009 2:47 PM

    David -- Congratulations on this new book. It is simply beautiful and you are such a talented artist.

  • Rob
    Rob
    9/22/2009 4:10 PM

    This is an incredible work. How long did it take you to do all the research and the paintings? Do you sell your tree paintings? I am also interested in your bird paintings as a gift for a friend. Are those for sale also?

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 5:06 PM

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the comments! I'm just checking in quickly now - more later. I wanted to add that my goal with this book was to produce a Tree guide that would function the way modern birders expect, as a visual catalog of all the different leaf shapes, fruits, flowers, bark, etc. So I'm really pleased to see the interest it's getting from birders.

    Rob - This book took about seven years to produce, with the first two years devoted to research and planning. At the same time I was learning how to paint with acrylics since I switched to that medium for the trees. I used gouache (opaque watercolors) for the bird guides, but that medium just doesn't give the rich saturated greens that I knew I needed for the trees. Then it took about 5 years of intensive painting and writing. I don't sell any of these field guide paintings, either the birds or the trees, but I do sometimes sell some of my other artwork. Watch my website for that.

  • John G, True
    John G, True
    9/22/2009 5:25 PM

    David,

    My son JT is very interested in trees and did a school project on the Dogwood tree. This book will make a great Christmas present.

  • George
    George
    9/22/2009 6:31 PM

    Hi David, I am curious to hear your opinion on the terrible aphid problem that hemlocks have been experiencing in the last decade in New England. We have friends who have spent a fortune spraying them, but we're not sure there is a long-term remedy. Perhaps this is just nature having its way. Did you notice this in your journeys? Thank you. I will buy your book.

  • Mark
    Mark
    9/22/2009 7:31 PM

    I've seen an early version of your book and the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL! It looks like you've really captured the important elements and nuances of the tree, its fruit and leaves. Congratulations on another masterpiece!

  • claudia
    claudia
    9/22/2009 8:35 PM

    This is a stunning book! Does it cover trees from all regions of the continental U.S.?

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 9:32 PM

    Hi George,

    These aphids - Hemlock Woolly Adelgids - are certainly a serious problem. I've seen quite a few old hemlock groves that have been devastated by them. They're introduced from Asia, and the native Eastern Hemlock here is very sensitive and is being killed all across its range. As I understand it there is no cure, only repeated applications of pesticides to keep the aphids at bay, and that will surely do more harm in the long run than simply accepting the presence of the aphids and saying goodbye to the hemlocks. Sadly. But you should check with a tree care specialist to see if there are any new ideas on treatment.

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 9:38 PM

    Hi Claudia, Thanks for the compliments! This book covers trees from almost all of North America north of Mexico. The only region not fully covered is the frost-free zones of central and southern Florida. The species of trees change almost completely there, with a hundred or more native species (and hundreds of cultivated species) only found south of that line. I should add that I made an effort to include all of the commonly cultivated species of trees along with the native species across the temperate zones of North America.

  • Cheryl Harner
    Cheryl Harner
    9/23/2009 7:05 AM

    Hi David-

    It was great to share Lakeside Ohio with you! I have been enjoying your book, and appreciate the holistic approach to tree identification. The various ages of bark is most helpful. This is the best and most consumer friendly tree book on the market!

    On a side note- during your program you commented that leaf color didn't mean much (did I get that right?), which struck me odd. Other botany friends and I agreed there is probably more to this. Attached is an article with some relevance : Why Fall Colors Are Different in U.S. and Europe

    Hope it is of interest to you. Any comment?

    Warm Regards, Cheryl Harner (Greater Mohican Audubon)

    PS- We are planning a Summit (Oct 8) with US Forestry and Ohio Div Foresty for proactive planning re: Hemlock Woolly Adelgids and possible treatments.

    [Admin note - post was edited to insert shortened URL link]

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/23/2009 8:17 AM

    Hi Cheryl, I'm really glad to know that you're finding the book helpful in the field. And thanks for the link. My point about leaf color is that trees can't see, so the colors of their leaves are not meant as a visual signal. There are average differences between species, but lots of variation. Leaf color changes continuously through the spring and summer and fall. Even in fall, when some trees turn bright red, you might see another tree of the same species, growing just a few feet away, that's yellow. This is not to say that leaf color is useless, but I think we tend to overemphasize color, and there are many more helpful things to look for, like bark texture, twig thickness, branching patterns, fruit, etc.

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    9/23/2009 11:40 AM

    Hi David, there are two things that I most appreciate about your books. The first is your exquisite artwork and the second is that you draw the reader in to really enjoy nature. You make nature really accessible. Appreciating the beauty of nature around us is something you can do alone, with a friend or several friends or with family. My kids love to go for walks in the woods, its an adventure for them and it doesn't cost anything!!! I am excited to get your new book and share it with my kids. Thank you!

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    10/4/2009 5:25 PM

    Since we spotlighted David's book, we have seen him and The Sibley Guide to Trees featured in The Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine and other prominent places. We think his book is really a gem and would make a wonderful gift for someone you love,... or even for your own library!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/11/2009 10:55 AM

    Congratulations David for being recommended in the NY Times Book review on Gardening books.

    "For gardeners who want to incorporate trees into their designs, I highly recommend the new SIBLEY GUIDE TO TREES (Knopf, $39.95). David Allen Sibley is the artist and author responsible for several excellent bird books (mine are well thumbed), and his tree guide holds its own against the Audubon series. His paintings manage the neat trick of being both evocative and accurate; the telling details are clearly articulated."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/books/review/Gardening-t.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

The Sibley Guide to Trees

by David Allen Sibley

A Celebration of Trees

The Sibley Guide to Trees is a beautiful reference book that deserves a place of honor in any library. It would however, be a shame if it languished on a bookshelf. The guidebook really belongs outside, in the hands of nature lovers and the eco-curious, being handled and notated and devoured with enthusiasm.

It’s the latest gem from David Allen Sibley, who is best known as the author and illustrator of the renowned bird-watching field guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds. The new guide grew out of David’s concern for
habitat preservation and environmental health, and his belief that learning about trees is a great way to begin understanding our natural world.

Illustrated with 4,100 amazingly detailed paintings, The Sibley Guide to Trees identifies more than 600 species of North American trees, organized by taxonomy so readers can recognize similarities among closely related species. More than 500 maps show the range of the tree species.

The Sibley Guide to Trees is a work of art and jam-packed with information, but it’s also accessible: You don’t have to be a scholar to be drawn into David’s celebration of trees. Plus it’s small enough to take along on a hike or bike ride – which is just where it belongs.
Read More Read Less
The Sibley Guide to Trees
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • David
    David

    I’m happy that the Daily Grommet team has chosen to commemorate the first day of fall by sharing my new book, The Sibley Guide to Trees with you. No other time of year do our trees garner so much attention as they do when they become emblazoned with the breathtaking colors of fall; when a canopy of varying shades of green becomes a patchwork of color as each tree’s unique personality comes through.

    In my book I have illustrated the unique personalities of each tree in America in each of its seasons, so that you can easily identify and learn about the trees that surround you. I hope that this book becomes a reference book that helps you and your family connect deeper with the wonders of the natural world around you.

    I have a busy day today but look forward to reading your comments and responding to any questions tonight or tomorrow!

  • LindaB
    LindaB
    9/22/2009 12:18 PM

    Mr. Sibley, we own two of your bird books, have given them as gifts and refer to them often. You are a gifted artist and can describe the birds so well. We look forward to your new tree book!

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer – Grommet Team
    9/22/2009 12:19 PM

    David-After watching the video I had an even greater appreciation for your paintings and drawings in this book. They are beautiful! I have just the person to give this to for the holidays!

  • Sharon
    Sharon
    9/22/2009 12:50 PM

    My in-laws have the Sibley bird guidebook and love it! They have lots of birdfeeders outside their kitchen window and the grandkids love watching them and trying to figure out what they are. A tree book sounds interesting for them especially if it is as beautiful as the bird book.

  • Joanne
    Joanne
    9/22/2009 1:14 PM

    David Allen Sibley will be checking in here at Daily Grommet periodically today. He's engaged in a number of interviews related to today's book launch so leave your questions and be sure to check back later for the answers. I wanted to add that Davids' illustrations are magnificent and the information is interesting and understandable. You'll become an instant expert in identifying every shade bearer around..:))

  • Jana
    Jana
    9/22/2009 2:00 PM

    Beautiful book.

  • Wendy
    Wendy – Grommet Team
    9/22/2009 2:47 PM

    David -- Congratulations on this new book. It is simply beautiful and you are such a talented artist.

  • Rob
    Rob
    9/22/2009 4:10 PM

    This is an incredible work. How long did it take you to do all the research and the paintings? Do you sell your tree paintings? I am also interested in your bird paintings as a gift for a friend. Are those for sale also?

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 5:06 PM

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for all the comments! I'm just checking in quickly now - more later. I wanted to add that my goal with this book was to produce a Tree guide that would function the way modern birders expect, as a visual catalog of all the different leaf shapes, fruits, flowers, bark, etc. So I'm really pleased to see the interest it's getting from birders.

    Rob - This book took about seven years to produce, with the first two years devoted to research and planning. At the same time I was learning how to paint with acrylics since I switched to that medium for the trees. I used gouache (opaque watercolors) for the bird guides, but that medium just doesn't give the rich saturated greens that I knew I needed for the trees. Then it took about 5 years of intensive painting and writing. I don't sell any of these field guide paintings, either the birds or the trees, but I do sometimes sell some of my other artwork. Watch my website for that.

  • John G, True
    John G, True
    9/22/2009 5:25 PM

    David,

    My son JT is very interested in trees and did a school project on the Dogwood tree. This book will make a great Christmas present.

  • George
    George
    9/22/2009 6:31 PM

    Hi David, I am curious to hear your opinion on the terrible aphid problem that hemlocks have been experiencing in the last decade in New England. We have friends who have spent a fortune spraying them, but we're not sure there is a long-term remedy. Perhaps this is just nature having its way. Did you notice this in your journeys? Thank you. I will buy your book.

  • Mark
    Mark
    9/22/2009 7:31 PM

    I've seen an early version of your book and the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL! It looks like you've really captured the important elements and nuances of the tree, its fruit and leaves. Congratulations on another masterpiece!

  • claudia
    claudia
    9/22/2009 8:35 PM

    This is a stunning book! Does it cover trees from all regions of the continental U.S.?

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 9:32 PM

    Hi George,

    These aphids - Hemlock Woolly Adelgids - are certainly a serious problem. I've seen quite a few old hemlock groves that have been devastated by them. They're introduced from Asia, and the native Eastern Hemlock here is very sensitive and is being killed all across its range. As I understand it there is no cure, only repeated applications of pesticides to keep the aphids at bay, and that will surely do more harm in the long run than simply accepting the presence of the aphids and saying goodbye to the hemlocks. Sadly. But you should check with a tree care specialist to see if there are any new ideas on treatment.

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/22/2009 9:38 PM

    Hi Claudia, Thanks for the compliments! This book covers trees from almost all of North America north of Mexico. The only region not fully covered is the frost-free zones of central and southern Florida. The species of trees change almost completely there, with a hundred or more native species (and hundreds of cultivated species) only found south of that line. I should add that I made an effort to include all of the commonly cultivated species of trees along with the native species across the temperate zones of North America.

  • Cheryl Harner
    Cheryl Harner
    9/23/2009 7:05 AM

    Hi David-

    It was great to share Lakeside Ohio with you! I have been enjoying your book, and appreciate the holistic approach to tree identification. The various ages of bark is most helpful. This is the best and most consumer friendly tree book on the market!

    On a side note- during your program you commented that leaf color didn't mean much (did I get that right?), which struck me odd. Other botany friends and I agreed there is probably more to this. Attached is an article with some relevance : Why Fall Colors Are Different in U.S. and Europe

    Hope it is of interest to you. Any comment?

    Warm Regards, Cheryl Harner (Greater Mohican Audubon)

    PS- We are planning a Summit (Oct 8) with US Forestry and Ohio Div Foresty for proactive planning re: Hemlock Woolly Adelgids and possible treatments.

    [Admin note - post was edited to insert shortened URL link]

  • David
    David – Special Guest
    9/23/2009 8:17 AM

    Hi Cheryl, I'm really glad to know that you're finding the book helpful in the field. And thanks for the link. My point about leaf color is that trees can't see, so the colors of their leaves are not meant as a visual signal. There are average differences between species, but lots of variation. Leaf color changes continuously through the spring and summer and fall. Even in fall, when some trees turn bright red, you might see another tree of the same species, growing just a few feet away, that's yellow. This is not to say that leaf color is useless, but I think we tend to overemphasize color, and there are many more helpful things to look for, like bark texture, twig thickness, branching patterns, fruit, etc.

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    9/23/2009 11:40 AM

    Hi David, there are two things that I most appreciate about your books. The first is your exquisite artwork and the second is that you draw the reader in to really enjoy nature. You make nature really accessible. Appreciating the beauty of nature around us is something you can do alone, with a friend or several friends or with family. My kids love to go for walks in the woods, its an adventure for them and it doesn't cost anything!!! I am excited to get your new book and share it with my kids. Thank you!

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    10/4/2009 5:25 PM

    Since we spotlighted David's book, we have seen him and The Sibley Guide to Trees featured in The Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine and other prominent places. We think his book is really a gem and would make a wonderful gift for someone you love,... or even for your own library!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/11/2009 10:55 AM

    Congratulations David for being recommended in the NY Times Book review on Gardening books.

    "For gardeners who want to incorporate trees into their designs, I highly recommend the new SIBLEY GUIDE TO TREES (Knopf, $39.95). David Allen Sibley is the artist and author responsible for several excellent bird books (mine are well thumbed), and his tree guide holds its own against the Audubon series. His paintings manage the neat trick of being both evocative and accurate; the telling details are clearly articulated."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/books/review/Gardening-t.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.