Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's that tree?

Have you ever been offered some logs or a whole tree for turning, but don't know what it is? The website Discover Life might help. Although it covers all life forms, the tree guide is for woodturners.

To get started you do need a leaf, so be sure to get a sample or two, along with fruits and flowers if available. If no live samples are available check for dead ones under the canopy. Click the appropriate check boxes for leaf type, leaf shape, leaf veins, leaf edge, flower colour and seed colour, then press any of the search buttons.

A list of suggested species appears in the sidebar, and clicking on any of these will bring up a page of information about the species. This is culled from a number of sources, and the amount of information available is very variable.

This tree guide is also a good way of finding information about a species if you already know the name. Click on the Search link at the top of the page and enter either the common name or the scientific name in the search box. It will return all the information on the species from multiple sources. Some of these include Tree Canada, Canadian BioDiversity, Virginia Tech Tree Fact Sheets and the USDA Plants Database.

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