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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:40 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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That's sounds wonderful. :thumbs_up:

I have Braam, Piet and Ben-Erik van Wyk's book, "Photographic Guide to Trees of Southern Africa". I do enjoy it, but I like to understand things contextualy. I do get a bit confused with detail.

I am considering studying for FGASA 1, just for my own enjoyment. I am sure that I will then have to add considerably to my current library.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:24 am 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
That's sounds wonderful. :thumbs_up:

I have Braam, Piet and Ben-Erik van Wyk's book, "Photographic Guide to Trees of Southern Africa". I do enjoy it, but I like to understand things contextualy. I do get a bit confused with detail.

I am considering studying for FGASA 1, just for my own enjoyment. I am sure that I will then have to add considerably to my current library.

MM, The FGASA manual is actually pretty good. I didn't need any other references to pass the theory exam (though I do have plenty more books).

I have the van Wyk & van Wyk field guide, Sappi Tree-Spotting Bushveld (which isn't all that useful). My brother's got van Wyk's 'How to Identify Trees' which I can recommend, and another book about indigenous trees (I can't remember details off-hand). van Wyk & van Wyk's identification key and tree (which appears in all their books) is very useful. I still struggle plenty plenty trying to ID trees from a book though.

I also have the pocket photographic guide, which I use when hiking etc but I don't find it too useful.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:51 pm 
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If you are looking at only Kruger, the new one by Van Wyk which covers only the Kruger trees is an excellent option. It simplifies life, since there are less options to confuse.

The problems with plants is that you never have enough books.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:42 pm 
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MM, I have the Van Wyks' all-southern-Africa book too. IMHO they have crammed too many trees into too small a volume, and so the detail you want tends to get left out. That's why I'm actually taking the Mpumalanga book rather. In addition, Schmidt et al have had the good sense to put the important bits of each tree in bold, which helps a lot. (Heads-up to KZN forum-ites: Richard Boon showed me bromides of a few pages of his revised Pooley's-trees a week or 2 back; he's gone one further and put the key features in a different colour type.)

Joshi, if it makes you feel any better, the pro's also struggle identifying from a couple of mouldy leaves and a book. In the dear forgotten days of 'Talking of nature' on the (radio) English Service, Prof. Schelpe (under whom I was a postgrad student for several years) greeted nearly every submission from the public with a mutter along the lines of " we really need a form letter saying 'Dear Sir / Madam, We are botanists, not magicians ...' ". I also find the Sappi book less than perfect, but at least more recent printings have exact locations of some trees I want to see.

Imberbe, the problem with plant books is they always leave out the critical bit you want. That's one reason why you need a crate of the things.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Yeah, they have crammed a lot in and often the exact photo you want isn't in the book though.
However I much prefer the v Wyk & v Wyk identification method (decision tree) compared to the (possibly old by now) Sappi Treespotting method, which doesn't actually work at all in the Waterberg (most trees appear everywhere).

The Sappi books are much much better though when it comes to things that are a bit more interesting (and tested in the FGASA assessments), like uses, cultural uses and animal uses etc.

At least I've managed to positively ID some acacias directly from the book, but those are relatively easy. 'Baby steps' I keep telling myself...

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:28 pm 
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Fully agreed! Which is one reason I'm looking forward to the next generation of e-books, or even the electronic tree key I'm making. This has as many pictures as one wants plus a fact sheet attached to each species in the key. And the size of the fact-sheet is effectively limited only by the capacity of the media the key is presented on, and the compiler's patience. Which in practice means that I can get nominally all the trees in Africa on one DVD, with 5 images and a page of text each. If I can find the images and the facts, of course ...

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:48 pm 
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I've got v Wky & v Wyk's guide on my PDA phone. I don't use it that often (its not so well designed) but using the decision tree should work very nicely on a software application.

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:19 am 
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Imberbe, I will try to get the Kruger book for my next trip.... in one month :dance: :dance:

Josh, great to have young people with your enthusiasm.

HFglen, I was listening to Radio 702 many months back. I heard someone from UJ being inteviewed by Jenny Cryss Williams on DNA tree identification. Are you involved with that project?

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 Post subject: Re: Kruger Trees
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:46 pm 
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MM, I went with my M.Sc. student to a workshop they had last October. Good thing I had the young lady along -- she could explain the technicalities to the previous generation! I got the impression that they'll find some good things they haven't planned on, but I wasn't convinced enough that the plan as stated would work as stated to sign up to join them. But I do share information with them, so the co-operation is kept informal rather than formal.

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