Best Wood Identification Book

I've googled and amazoned (zonned?), and it appears that the following are available...
* What Wood Is That: A Manual of Wood Identification (Studio Book) by Herbert Leeson Edlin
* Encyclopedia of Wood: A Tree-By-Tree Guide to the World's Most Valuable Resource by William Lincoln, Aidan Walker, John Makepeace
* The Woodbook by Klaus Ulrich Leistikow
* 100 Woods: A Guide to Popular Timbers of the World by Peter Bishop
* Wood : Identification & Use by Terry Porter
*World Woods in Color by William Alexander Lincoln
* International Book Of Wood by Martin Bramwell
This last one is out of print, but appears to be well regarded. Additionally, I stumbled across the following software - The Wood Explorer CD http://tinyurl.com/3twxx
While it would be nice to find one all encompassing volume that would allow me to identify all woods, I'm not overly optimistic. Any suggestions?
The ability to identify living species is also important to me.
JP
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That's a nice one, shows 'em with leaves, and also has a sample of each in the back (if that's the same edition as I have).

See above. That's the only one I can comment on, but it's great.
Dave Hinz
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What? Nothing by Charles Self? What is the world coming to?

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Joe Stein notes:

Give me time! I'm working on it. A couple years, and one should be out, if nothing goes wrong.
Charlie Self "When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do - lose." Dwight D. Eisenhower
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I think it'd move along a little faster if you didn't insist on growing every one of the darned samples yurself! :)
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Patrick Conroy notes:

Yeah, but now I'm old enough to use some of the samples set in soil when I was a kid. Past old enough, in fact.
Charlie Self "When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty." George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra (1901)
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patrick conroy wrote:

It would move much faster if you didn't spend so much time hasslin' poor old BAD on the wRECk. ;-)     mahalo,     jo4hn
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jo4hn writes:

You mean he's still here? My filters have worked for a couple months, now, so I've got no idea who is doing what to whom.
Charlie Self "When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty." George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra (1901)
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On 21 Jul 2004 00:11:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) calmly ranted:

Mine, too, but I had to keep adding the people who kept on replying to him day after day after day. Once I got to zero tolerance he went away for good.
--------------------------------------------------- I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol. --------------------------------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Refreshing Graphic Design
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Actually, I haven't seen hide nor hair of him for a while. I thought that snipped-for-privacy@unknown.hellhole or whatever it was, was Dave. Some of the words, phraseology, and attitude were quite similar. Sigh. Just one of life's little bouts with emesis.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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My killfiles are working. Dave has ceased to exist. Damned shame - cuz there probably was *some* potential in there. Probably. Maybe not...
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Mon, Jul 19, 2004, 8:37pm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (JayPique) <snip> Any suggestions? <snip>
Books like that, I prefer holding in my grubby little mitts, and leafing thru them, before I part with any hard to come by dinars.
So, I'd start at my local library, and see what they've got. Then I'd go to the local college library, and see what they've got. Then, the one(s) I'd like to own, I'd try tracking down. I get 99.9% of my books, from used book stores.
By the way, it's no trick identifying trees. I have a whole yard full of them, and I can look out of my door at any one of them, and tell it's a tree. No prob.
JOAT
We've got a lot of experience of not having any experience. - Nanny Ogg
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Jay Pique wrote:

You missed Hoadley, "Identifying Wood".
There is no "all encompassing volume that would allow me to identify all woods". The Forest Products Laboratory, with a staff of PhDs, the largest collection of wood samples in the world, a sophisticated laboratory, and the ability to call on the full resources of the United States Government, cannot reliably identify _all_ woods and they admit as much.
All any book is going to do is give you a start.
There are some organizations as well. The Center for Wood Anatomy Research <http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/ is the US Government lab that does that sort of thing. The International Wood Collectors' Society has a journal addressing wood identificiation. The Forest Products Society <http://www.forestprod.org has a variety of publications. The International Association for Plant Taxonomy <http://www.botanik.univie.ac.at/iapt/taxon/index.htm is the professional society for scientists who specialize in the classification of plants including trees.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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are available...

by Herbert Leeson Edlin

Valuable Resource by William Lincoln, Aidan Walker, John Makepeace

by Klaus Ulrich Leistikow

by Peter Bishop

by Terry Porter

by William Alexander Lincoln

by Martin Bramwell

Additionally, I stumbled across the following software -

allow me to identify all woods, I'm not overly optimistic. Any suggestions?

+ + + A lot depends on what you mean by "wood identification". Obviously, what you might mean by "all woods" is a complete mystery.
There certainly are more books than this. Also see the "### micro-FAQ on wood": you can't really go wrong with the "Good Wood Handbook" PvR
I have not seen the book by Terry Porter yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Also unsure about this CD, and how it relates to its predecessor, which was not much ].
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PVR notes:

Yes. All woods. I'm not sure we've found all the wood varieties there are yet, or that we ever will.
I really like the Edlin book. I have the Woodbook in its current form. I'd love to see it done without the gold on black print, but it's one great piece of reading. Lincoln's book is also excellent, but you might want to add "A Guide To Useful Woods of The World" edited by James Flynn and Charles Holder, of the International Wood Collectors Society. Published by the Forest Products Society, Madison, Wisconsin. ISBN 1-892529-15-7 in the paperback edition.
None of them come close to covering ALL the woods of the world. There are 279 in the second edition of the guide above, and it is woefully short of species. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, that might be of interest aren't included.
Lincoln's WWIC has about 250 (too lazy to count them).
It may well be better to identify 100 or 200 particular woods, or 300, and go after the details on those. Trying to do all is probably an impossibility, and a supremely expensive impossibility.
Charlie Self "When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty." George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra (1901)
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you might mean by "all woods" is a complete mystery.

yet, or that we ever will.

+ + + It is likable but the set-up is a little out-of-date + + +

the gold on black print, but it's one great piece of reading.
+ + + Yes, the gold on black gets on one's nerves. The pictures are great (note that it deals with US-woods only), but are on the internet. + + +
Lincoln's book is also excellent,
+ + + No, it is rather sloppy. I am on the verge of hating it. + + +
but you might want to add "A Guide To Useful Woods of The World" edited by James Flynn and Charles Holder, of the International Wood Collectors Society. Published by the Forest Products Society, Madison, Wisconsin. ISBN 1-892529-15-7 in the paperback edition.
+ + + There is no hard cover edition, so the paperback is all there is. This book has many virtues, and certainly is an honest piece of work, but although one could do worse than owning this, I am ambivalent about recommending it to the beginner. + + +

279 in the second edition of the guide above, and it is woefully short of species. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, that might be of interest aren't included.
+ + + If you will open "The Guide to Useful Woods" you will see (on page 565) an estimate of 5000-10 000 woods from a potential of 20 000 - 40 000 tree species. In practice it may well be higher. + + +

go after the details on those. Trying to do all is probably an impossibility, and a supremely expensive impossibility.
+ + + Any beginner would do well to aim for two or three dozen of the most common woods. That will be hard enough. The Edlin book deals with 40 woods. PvR
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Bruce Hoadley's "Understanding Wood." I have it, its good. See link:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=u5mD0REsdoi9&isbn 61583588&itm=1

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