The Sibley Guide to Trees

TreeBookInformation from the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Information and sales at your local Independent bookstore

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Publishing history: First edition, first printing in Sep 2009. Designed and edited by Scott & Nix, Inc.

Links to interviews and reviews can be found on the Press about the Guide to Trees page

An explanation of the philosophy behind the guide: A Modern (holistic) approach to Tree Identification

A list of minor errors (editorial stuff, not tree identification topics)

A list of species with opposite leaves

The Tree Info page will have in-depth discussions of tree identification and updates to the tree guide, listed by species.

23 thoughts on “The Sibley Guide to Trees”

  1. The best tree id book on the market! I need this on my Iphone. Are there plans for an Iphone version? Please let me
    know. Thanks, Tom Myers, Certified Arborist

  2. I sure hope the “yet…” turns into a plan soon. You guys did an excellent job with the bird guide for the iPhone and iPad!

  3. HI !

    It will be possible in the near furture to see
    The Sibley eguide to trees for ipod touch ???
    It perhaps a good idea. Thank you very much.

    Peter Lane from Québec City.

  4. What is the regional distribution of this book? I live in San Jose, CA and am anxious to get a book that will help me ID the trees in this region. If there are sufficient numbers of trees found in CA in this book, I would seriously consider a purchase. I love the didactic style of your books which I find lacking in other guides.

    1. Hi Dave, The Tree guide covers all of the native trees of California, and most of the common exotics. From the Bay area southwards along the coast the climate is mild enough to support and incredible diversity of cultivated trees, so in San Jose you will see some planted trees in town that are not in the guide, but out in a natural area all the species should be in the book. Hope that helps.
      Best, David

  5. Just putting in another two cents: I love your tree guide and would definitely buy an app for my android phone. Hope you’ll consider creating one.

    1. Most field guides aren’t actually meant to be taken into the field. Usually I just use it at home for reference and I can learn from memory and/or photos. The only time there’s a want for a portable field guide is on week-long trips.

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    1. There is no key on this book. I planned it as the equivalent of the modern bird guide, which has some learning curve but – with the trees arranged by order and family and genus – a little experience with the book will give you a sense of the fundamental similarities and differences between those larger groups. Once you learn the broad patterns of variation in fruits, flowers, buds, twigs, bark, etc. that will lead to better understanding and quicker identifications. That’s my hope for the book, at least.

    2. If you actually have an understanding of the topic (e.g. genera) this field guide works best. I think the format of keys is horrifically stupid. They’re definitely only for a technical understanding and not for naturalists. Just my opinion.

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  11. Any plans to update Guide to Trees? Perhaps even Western US and Eastern US versions?

    Great compendium of tree species!

  12. Love the Guide to trees.
    One question on the Maple (Soapberry) entry, pp 332, 3rd paragraph, did the author Really mean to say that “All maples have palmately compound leaves…”
    Not compound by the conventional definition, correct?
    I’ll wait for the second edition 🙂

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