The Tree Book kindled by authors’ love of trees

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The Tree Book – Superior Selections for Landscapes, Streetscapes & Gardens, evolved from a 30+ year friendship kindled by the authors’ mutual love of trees. Between its covers, you’ll find the combined knowledge and wisdom of two of this generation’s great plantsmen, Dr. Michael Dirr and Keith Warren.

Dirr (renowned plantsman, author, speaker, mentor and Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia) teamed up with Warren (40-year career nurseryman, plant breeder and retired Director of New Plant Development at JFS) to co-write The Tree Book. Together, they share their lifetime of learning about trees, and their boundless enthusiasm and quest for new and better trees.

Their excitement for trees jumps right out of the book, just as it does when they walk our rows of experimental trees or lead a tree walk in our arboretum during Mike’s frequent visits to the nursery. Combining their unique skills and knowledge, Mike and Keith tell the story of cultivar development and introduction while recommending new, underused and improved trees for our landscapes.

The book’s 943 pages include more than 2,700 color photographs that illustrate more than 2,400 species and cultivars of new, underused and recommended deciduous and evergreen landscape trees. Detailed descriptions include the typical categories of foliage, flower, fruit, form, bark fall color, native range, adaptability, etc. An added bonus is the authors’ collective opinion on Landscape Use and Street Tree Use, categories that are particularly valuable to urban forest managers, landscape architects, designers and horticulturists.

 A “must have” volume for your horticultural library, it is widely available from independent booksellers including our local treasure, Powell’s City of Books, and online booksellers. Amazon also offers a Kindle version for laptop, phone or other electronic device. Should you harbor any doubt as to whether you NEED this book, we invite you to peruse the 100+ page sampler of the Kindle version that Amazon shares on their website.


Mike Dirr is a frequent visitor to the nursery whose observation and evaluation over the decades have contributed greatly to our tree introduction program. He and Keith ponder a potential new Japanese Zelkova introduction with Frank Schmidt III and Guy Meacham, who succeeded Keith as New Plant Development Manager.


Kindle version of The Tree Book is available from Amazon. Contains all the information you’ll find in the 7.3-pound hardbound book, but this one fits in your pocket!

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