Xylophilia (was: Biggest thing alive)

Cameron Laird claird at sugar.NeoSoft.COM
Thu Feb 17 15:18:28 EST 1994

In article <2jtehs$o8v at sugar.neosoft.com>, I <claird at sugar.NeoSoft.COM> wrote:
>			.
>			.
>			.
		[lots of stuff about]
>	Johnson, Hugh
>	1984	Hugh Johnson's Encyclopedia of Trees.
>		Gallery Books, New York City
>a marvelous coffee-table book.  As the dust jacket says,
For somewhat more sedate coverage of the same topic, see

	Hora, Bayard, consultant editor
	1981	The Oxford Encyclopedia of
		Trees of the World.  Oxford
		University Press, Oxford

My exuberance about *... Johnson's ...* perhaps obscured the
fact that there's some sense in his idiosyncrasies.  He writes
for the enthusiast, and particularly one with an estate he'd
like to populate dramatically.  I gave myself a *Taxodium di-
stichum* for my birthday one year, before they became so
fashionable in that area, based solely (well, almost) on his
description of its virtues and charms.  My current land-hold-
ings still barely top one acre, but Johnson inspires marvelous

*The Oxford Encyclopedia ...* shares the same format--both
profile botanical families in roughly 200 pages of sumptuously-
illustrated cataloguing, with fifty pages of introduction,
extensive reference sections, and so on--but *... Oxford ...*
strikes a somewhat more formal tone.  Its categories are a bit
finer, and its range a bit more universal, while Johnson allows
himself the luxury of devoting more space to his favorites.
*... Oxford ...* is more didactic:  more of its illustrations
are the sort one would find in an identification key, it is
more earnestly culturologic and keeps a focus on economic
value.  Johnson includes a photograph only when it has
artistic merit apart from its botanical significance; *all*
his trees look dramatic, in one way or another.  Johnson has
a dozen pages on "Tree Planting and Care"; *... Oxford ...*
devotes about the same amount to a *Scientific American*-level
introduction to the biology of trees.  The best decision, once
one has decided where in one's library to shelve these--they're
both over 11-1/2 inches high--is simply to purchase both.

Cameron Laird
claird at Neosoft.com (claird%Neosoft.com at uunet.uu.net)	+1 713 267 7966
claird at litwin.com (claird%litwin.com at uunet.uu.net)  	+1 713 996 8546

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