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
fantasies.

*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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