ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CONIFERS
Review on gardenweb.com
After hearing rave reviews, I plunked down the $300(US) to acquire this and a quick review follows.
First, these are two beautiful, HUGE books. HUGE! Each book is roughly 16 inches by 14 inches and about 1,500 pages, very HEAVY and extremely well made, set to last for decades. It"s easy to see they didn"t skimp anywhere when they made these books. Many pages have multiple, beautiful full color shots of conifers(sometimes of the same cultivar/species) and mixed in are huge, full-page shots of specific cultivars, really a visually stunning treat.
Next, the database and sheer quantity of cultivars listed is staggering, we"re talking thousands upon thousands of cultivars, many of which have some history or provenance to them as well as some growth details and size estimates.
Finally the depth of their research, photography(hundreds of locations) and the labor of love is evident in this massive undertaking. Just about every conifer you"ve ever heard of, and hundreds more you probably haven"t are covered in detail in these two volumes. Even someone like myself who might be described as a serious collector is overwhelmed by the amount of information and photos of conifer cultivars you"ve never heard of or seen before.
In summary, while it"s expensive($240+60 shipping right now), these books are of the utmost highest quality and if you"re a serious conifer lover or if you have a burgeoning collection, this book probably qualifies as a must-buy. Someday, a long time from now it may be a bit dated and obsolete, that probably won"t be during our lifespan. Prepare to be overwhelmed and enjoy the beauty of these beautiful volumes.