Valued for their lumber, their shade, and the beauty of their flowers and foliage as well as the nuts that nourish wildlife and humans alike, trees play important economic, ecological, and aesthetic roles in our lives. From honey and black locusts to white and chinkapin oaks to yellow and river birches, Trees in Your Pocket gives us identification and natural history information for about forty prominent deciduous species found in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.
Botanist Tom Rosburg provides diagnostic color photographs of leaves, acorns and other fruits, and bark along with descriptions of leaves, fruits, and measurements of blades. The composition, arrangement, shape, and margin of leaves are most important for tree identification. Fruits can help confirm identification of species with similar leaves. The bark of a tree can be very helpful for identifying some species; as a tree ages, older bark (lower on the tree) can be quite different from younger bark (higher and on branches). In addition to these essential markers, Rosburg gives information about range, habitat—savannas, moist forests, dry slopes, sandy soils, and so on—life-span, and tolerance of shade, fire, drought, and flood.
Each state in this region maintains a Big Tree program that honors the largest individual tree of each species. Champion trees are determined by adding together measurements of trunk circumference, height, and canopy spread. Rosburg identifies the trees with the largest diameter and the tallest trees among the champion trees in the Upper Midwest by their county and state. Together his superb photographs and key information make this guide the perfect companion for enjoying the diversity of trees in all kinds of environments.