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Old 02-28-2020, 01:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 52
Adirondack Forest Communities guide book

Instead of just walking around the Adirondacks oblivious to the environment around me, I am working on understanding the forest starting with the general forest communities and the trees in them.

I am trying to memorize the different trees.

I was cutting and pasting information like on in this webpage:

into my own file and editing it so I could shrink it down and take it hiking.

Then I thought "Maybe someone has already did this and made a little book."

It has to be small and light.
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Old 02-28-2020, 03:34 PM   #2
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Its a good thing you are doing. Why experience the woods and not know the flora? You will appreciate the outdoors more, the more you know about it.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:31 PM   #3
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I like the Peterson guide to trees, but it probably isn't as small & light as you want (though I often take two Peterson guides plus a smaller dragonfly one). There are smaller, basic tree field guides that some better bookstores have. A small one I love is "Forests & Trees of the Adirondack High Peaks Region" by E.H. Ketchledge. Though it focuses on the high peaks area, it does include some info on lower elevation trees. A really good help in learning trees is "Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast" by Michael Wojtech -- again, a bit larger than you describe, but it's a must-have for using bark to help i.d. trees. And if you're talking boreal forest, check out "The World of Northern Evergreens" by E.C. Pielou.
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:05 AM   #4
One foot in front of the other
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Location: Schroon Lake, NY
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Ketchledge's book is pocket sized, and has a 'dichotomous tree' to help identify what you're trying to identify.


“Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet.” Carlos Castenada
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Old 03-03-2020, 07:19 PM   #5
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It's not exactly what you're looking for but it does contain some of the relevant info: I really like the Audubon Society's regional field guides. They've got a little bit of everything- ecosystem knowledge, tree ID, wildflower ID, bird ID, mammal ID, fish ID, reptile and amphibian ID, invertebrate ID, weather pattern ID, rock and mineral ID, and so on. If you're looking for 1 single field book to carry- the Audubon regional field guides are the one to carry.

NY is grouped in the Field Guide to the Mid-Atlantic, but in the Adirondacks I personally carry the Field Guide to New England as the Adirondack ecosystem has more in common with New England ecosystems than with the ecosystems of the mid-Atlantic region.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:49 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2019
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This is maddening! I found this really cool mapping website. It has all the forest communities but the colors in the index are hard to match with the colors on the map! I wish you could just click on the map and it would tell you the forest community! Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:01 PM   #7
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These habitat guides go with it
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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Eastern Forests (Kricher, Morrison)

Good suggestions from the folks who have answered already. Another good book is the Peterson Guide to Eastern Forests by John Kricher and Gordon Morrison. This is the next step after becoming acquainted with the basic field guides. It goes into the whys and wherefores of forest communities across the east (including the northeast). It explains various community types, which plants you'll see, which animals like which habitats, so you'll get a better idea what kinds of plants and animals you'll see on a particular hike.
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