The majority of bushcraft skills at some point involves the use of wood. To be more specific, involves the use of trees.
Knowing how to identify different species of trees aids greatly in knowing what each is suitable. For example what trees make the best bows for archery and which provide the best fat wood.
Tree identification is something I have struggled with since being a youngster and the reason for that lies with the area of the country that I was brought up in. We really didn’t have great diversity of tree species and I only managed to see different varieties when on holiday.
Recently I began to take a greater interest and have set myself the task of rectifying my lack of knowledge in this particular are of bushcrafting.
To assist me in my effort I went straight for the Collins Gem range of titles and picked up Trees. Readers of our posts will know of my fondness of this range of books and how well they have performed as references for my personal skill development.
This pocket guide features very nicely shot photographs and botanical illustrations that display not only the overall shape of the tree but also details of leaf shape, flowers, fruits and bark. The detailed Illustrations of cones, catkins, nuts and fruits assist greatly in distinguishing between similar trees easily.
Deciduous and evergreen species are both featured each with information on the origin of each species, height and common habitat covering over 220 trees and shrubs that are native to or flourish in Britain and Northern Europe.
As is common to all of the Collins Gem series, the book is well produced and will happily libe in your jacket pocket for years without shedding pages like some of the trees it describes do in autumn.
So do I think that this guide is of any use to the bushcrafter? Well yes I do. It is a handy book to take with you to either learn new species or brush up on the knowledge you already have. Top notch reference.