Introduction

This Little Guide is intended for the genera! reader who wishes to increase his knowledge of our forest and garden trees. Most people can recognize the commoner native British trees such as Oak, Elm and Ash, but many would find it difficult to describe their characteristic bark, leaves, flowers and fruits. It is hoped that sufficient detail has been given in the illustrations and accompanying text to encourage the reader to look more closely at the trees he encounters. Although we are all familiar with trees a strict definition of the term is difficult to provide, but they are basically woody plants with a single axis or trunk arising from the ground. Apart from a few small tree-ferns the tree habit Is confined to seed plants; the Gymnosperms with exposed seeds and the Angiosperms with enclosed seeds. The majority of the Gymnosperms are evergreen conifers with a very characteristic shape (p. 2). The Angiosperms or flowering plants are divided into the Dicotyledons, which include all the broad-leaved trees, and the Monocotyledons, to which the Palms belong,

Clearly, in a small book ot this kind only a selection of the many thousands of tree species can be described. Nearly all are natives of the North Temperate regions; tropical species, including the Palms, arfi omitted. Most of our native trees are dealt with and the rest all grow out-of-doors in Britain, at least in the southern parts of the country.

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