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Unit 2: Site Assessment and Non-Timber Forest Crop Selection
Site Assessment Part III (Vegetation)
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Plant Inventory Resources

Beginning to identify and inventory the plants on your property can be a daunting task if youíre not familiar with the local species and havenít used botanical guides. This section should help you get started. It is not necessary to identify every plant at your sampling points. The aim of sampling is to learn more about site characteristics as can be deduced from what is already growing there.

HWWFF Resources

To help you get started identifying plants, photos and descriptions of common trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants have been compiled in the [ HWWFF Plant Photo Catalog]. This resource was originally developed for ginseng site assessment, but it applies to other crops as well. Not every species in the catalog will inform your crop selection, but it should expedite your site knowledge.

Additional Web Resources

There are many other web resources for tree id. A few highly recommended sources are:

Printed Botanical Guides

The following are recommended for beginner to intermediate users in New York and Pennsylvania:


  •  Wildflower & Fern Identification
  •  Newcombís Wildflower Field Guide. Newcomb, Lawrence. 1989. Little, Brown & Company. USA.
  •  North Woods Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada. Ladd, Doug. 2001. FalconGuide Wildflower Series. FalconGuide.
  •  Central Appalacian Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Common Wildflowers of the Central Appalachian Mountains, Including Shenandoah National Park, The Catskills and Berkshires. Medina, Barbara & Victor Medina. 2002. FalconGuide Wildflower Series. FalconGuide.
  •  A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-Central North America. McKenny, Roger and Tory Peterson. 1998. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company. USA.
  •  A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America. Duke, James, A and Steven Foster. 1999. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company. USA.
  •  New Englandís Mountain Flowers: A High Country Heritage. Wallner, Jeff & Mario DiGregorio, in cooperation with the New England Wild Flower Society. 1997 Missoula Mont. Mountain Press Publishing Co.
  •  Peterson Field Guide to Ferns, Second Edition: Northeastern and Central North America. Cobb, Boughton, Cheryl Lowe and Elizabeth Farnsworth. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company. USA
  •  Forest Trees of the Northeast. Lassoie, James P, Luzadis, Valerie A & Grover, Deborah W. 1996. Cornell Cooperative Extension Info Bulletin 235. Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  •  Tree Finder: A Manual for the Identification of Trees by Their Leaves. Watts, May T. 1998. Nature Study Guild Publishers, Rochester, NY.
  •  Winter Tree Finder. Watts, May T & Tom Watts. 1970. Nature Study Guild Publishers, Rochester, NY.
  •  The Tree Identification Book. Symonds, George W. 1977. William Morrow and Company Inc. USA
  •  The Shrub Identification Book. Symonds, George W. HarperCollins Publishers. NY, NY, USA.
  •  Tree & Shrub Identification

Intermediate Botanical Guides

  •  How to Identify Plants. H.D. Harrington. (A comprehensive illustrated glossary of botanical terms.)
  •  Flora of the Cayuga Lake Basin. Weigand & Eames (Relevant to the Cornell & Finger Lakes area.)
  •  Keys to Woody Plants. Muenscher, Comstock
  •  Pennsylvania Trees. Illick