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Thread: Books I am looking for... edible plants, tree identification

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    Default Books I am looking for... edible plants, tree identification

    I am looking for the best book on edible plants in most specifically Canada. I anybody can recommend some books that would be great.

    Secondly, I am getting into making fires, woodwork, and other things requiring tree identification. When I hear that I require A certain type of wood, I have no idea what it is. I'm only interested in knowing how to identify common trees like pine, spruce, cedar, fir, birch, maple, etc... is there a resource online that can help me? See... I just looked them all up individually on wikipedia but that doesn't help because a spruce and a cedar look identical to me... I need to know what is different about them, NOT what is the same about them.


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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Devon8822 - There are quite a few that can offer up advice for you. In the meantime you can try the search function of the site. There have been quite a few posts on resources. When you get a chance head on over to the introduction section and let us know a bit about you. You can find it here http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...splay.php?f=14
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    Thanks Crashdive, I did do a search but I was unable to find and threads recommending resources for edible plants in Canada. Thanks for the welcome

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    try books from Pojar, McCinnon, Sibille Haeusler,.....
    or come and work in the bush with me for a few month.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Like the US, there are a lot are many different ecosystems in Canada. Novia Scotia is a lot different than BC and the plants will also be different. What part of Canada are you interested in?

    You'll find some information on trees in Canada in this thread:

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...identify+trees

    You really don't need to worry about what is the same or different between any two trees. You simply need to be able to identify a specific tree and there is a set process for doing that. Virtually all outdoor books use the same process and it normally starts with the leaves. A good field manual is a must. Peterson Guides are hard to beat. Again, it would be helpful to know what geographic area you are in. Peterson publishes a book called Western Trees and one called Eastern Trees. Another is called Trees and Shrubs. Still another is Ecology of Eastern Forests. A white oak is a white oak regardless of where it is located.

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    Go to your local library. Look up the section on plants. They have many good books there. Thats what I do.

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    Senior Member Aurelius95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    A good field manual is a must. Peterson Guides are hard to beat. Again, it would be helpful to know what geographic area you are in. Peterson publishes a book called Western Trees and one called Eastern Trees. Another is called Trees and Shrubs. Still another is Ecology of Eastern Forests. A white oak is a white oak regardless of where it is located.
    My wife was a biology major in college, concentrating in outdoor biology. Whenever we go hiking, like this past Saturday, she is always identifying the trees and flowers. She complained that she lent some of her field manuals and never got them back. When she does replace them, I'll be very interested in learning about it too.
    Not all who wander are lost - Tolkien

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Tunick - The problem with the library is that you really need to have the information in front of you if you are trying to identify a particular plant. You have to work through a series of questions, similar to a flow chart, to properly determine the type of plant you are looking at. Just looking at a picture in a book won't do it. There are many that look far to similar to be able to properly identify them that way.

    Take this test from arborday.org and you'll see how complicated it can be. However, it needs to be that exact if you plan to use something like the inner bark of a white oak to munch on. You want to make certain it is white oak.

    Read through the definitions then click on the animation at the bottom of the page:

    http://www.arborday.org/trees/wtit/

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I would agree. Having your reference with you may be the difference between eating well or .......well, not.
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    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
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    i'm a fan of How To Recognize Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away

    by Monty Python. second only to their other masterpiece; How Not To Be Seen...
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    how do you tell the difference between Cedar, fir, and spruce?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I give up. How?

    but seriously, folks. What kind of cedar, fir and spruce? For example:

    Western Red Cedar, Arbor Vitae (Cedar), Incense Cedar, Port Orford Cedar, Lebanon Cedar, Blue Atlas Cedar, and Deador Cedar

    OR....

    Balsam Fir, Shasta Red Fir, White Fir, Noble Fir, Grand Fir, White Fir, and Douglas-Fir

    OR....

    Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, White Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, and Red Spruce

    You could even ask about Pine, Hemlock, Cypress, Redwoods and Junipers.

    They are all different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
    I am looking for the best book on edible plants in most specifically Canada. I anybody can recommend some books that would be great.

    Secondly, I am getting into making fires, woodwork, and other things requiring tree identification. When I hear that I require A certain type of wood, I have no idea what it is. I'm only interested in knowing how to identify common trees like pine, spruce, cedar, fir, birch, maple, etc... is there a resource online that can help me? See... I just looked them all up individually on wikipedia but that doesn't help because a spruce and a cedar look identical to me... I need to know what is different about them, NOT what is the same about them.
    Ask the experts... go here http://www.asca-consultants.org/index.html and scour the site... especially the links on the left... good place to start.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Devon - I wasn't trying to be flippant with my answer but you can't try to explain the difference between the genus of a family when the species vary so much. That's why a field manual is so important if you want to learn the differences.

    If you want to know the difference between specific genus/species (Blue cedar and Blue spruce for example) then you have to define your question a bit more.

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    walk lightly on the earth wildWoman's Avatar
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    For northwestern Canada, get "Discovering wild plants" by Janice Schofield (also covers Alaska in case someone's interested). Covers food, medicinal, historical and cosmetic use of wild plants, incl many recipes/how-to sections.

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devon8822 View Post
    I am looking for the best book on edible plants in most specifically Canada. I anybody can recommend some books that would be great.

    Secondly, I am getting into making fires, woodwork, and other things requiring tree identification. When I hear that I require A certain type of wood, I have no idea what it is. I'm only interested in knowing how to identify common trees like pine, spruce, cedar, fir, birch, maple, etc... is there a resource online that can help me? See... I just looked them all up individually on wikipedia but that doesn't help because a spruce and a cedar look identical to me... I need to know what is different about them, NOT what is the same about them.
    are you east coast or west coast? spruce have round needles where cedar have flat"leaves" in a way even the bark is far different, now i just learned cedar a couple of months ago but it is very disticntive when you understand it, the bark is great for fire starting comes off in strips also cedar has a very distinctive smell to it
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
    http://wareaglesurvival.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member mbarnatl's Avatar
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    Has anyone used this book "Botany In A Day "?
    "The ability for a person to prevail in a survival situation is based on three factors: survival knowledge, equipment, and will to survive. All are important, but the most important is the will to survive." -Greg Davenport

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    i have not but i have heard it is recomended
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
    http://wareaglesurvival.blogspot.com

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    Edible Wild Plants - A North American Field Guide, An Outdoor Life Book by Sterling Publishing. This is a great beginner book because of the color photos. It has a couple hundred variteties, many will not be in your area, but it is fun to explore wherever you find yourself. After a while, you'll want to look for cookbooks and other references that go past the basics.

    Peterson or Audobon guides are great for trees.

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