Recently I’ve become dissatisfied with my knowledge of trees. I’m not entirely certain what has caused these feelings at this point in my life – I just find myself looking at a tree and becoming irritated with myself if I can’t identify it.
Therefore I’ve begun a course of study in the trees in my local area; an activity made much easier than it otherwise would be thanks to the superb book Trees to Know in Oregon by Ed Jensen as published by Oregon State University Press Extension Service.
Now, each evening – or whenever else I find myself noticing a tree with which I am not sufficiently familiar to identify – I make as many notes as I think necessary and consult Jensen’s book. As a result, I’ve now not only learned to identify quite a few new trees but I’ve also learned the existence of some near me with which I was only familiar from travels to other states.
I expect that at my current pace – and with a few trips to other portions of the state – that I should be able to work my way through the entire book in less than a year. Which is good because I’ve already discovered another of Jensen’s books, Shrubs to Know in Pacific Northwest Forests, that is making me feel uneasy about my knowledge of these plants as well.