April 21st, 2016
David Tracey’s field guide, Vancouver Tree Book(Pure Wave Media $20) is a continuation of a treespotting project first started by Gerald Straley back in 1992. Due to his death a few years later, Straley’s seminal book, Trees of Vancouver (UBC Press), has never been updated. Now, thanks to Tracey and a handful of dedicated arborists, Vancouver Tree Book has continued Straley’s work. The field guide begins with a series of maps outlining Vancouver’s notable and treasured trees, a guided tour that hardly touches on the city’s arboreal diversity. This is followed by a detailed identification guide, subdivided into nine groups of trees found around Vancouver. The book includes photographs of leaves, branches, bark patterns and trees for finding each species in the city. The individual species entries come with location data for finding these trees, allowing the dedicated reader and explorer to follow in Tracey’s footsteps all around Vancouver. The book also includes facts such as the world’s tallest tree (115 metres, Hyperion in northern California), and which species is said to be the oldest on earth (ginkgo biloba). Tracey recognizes the collaborative nature of this project, closing the guide with nods to the other arborists who made it possible. The higher level tree enthusiast can use this information to propel their studies to greater heights, seeking out the work of people like Douglas Justice and Wendy Cutler to further their knowledge. Vancouver Tree Book is a highly-detailed, colourful and almost-pocket-sized reference guide to the plethora of trees that have helped to make Vancouver into one of the most desirable places to live on the planet. 978-0-9865055-2-2.