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The Families of Native Trees in Southern California

The Families of Native Trees in Southern California
by J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

What native trees can you find in Southern California, from San Diego and Imperial counties in the south up to Monterey, Kern, and Inyo counties? Check out your library for the classic book by P. Victor Peterson. It guides you to the Joshua tree, the California fan palm, and the other native trees of Southern California.

The Peterson's Native Trees of Southern California.

This book (first published in 1966) is a compact and extremely useful guide, containing:

  1. How you can identify trees. Your key to identify each Southern California tree through its leaves and fruit.
  2. Tree silhouettes. A remarkable section on the recognition of our trees through their profiles.
  3. Coniferous trees of Southern California, by family, genus, and species.
  4. Broadleaf trees of Southern California, by family, genus, and species.
  5. Maps (including route maps) on where to see trees in four areas:
  6. Activities and projects for grownups and children, including how to make an area tree map.
  7. A handy glossary, a checklist of trees in Southern California, and references.

Coniferous Trees of Southern California

You can see these families of coniferous trees in Southern California:

  1. Cypress Family (Cupressaceae).
  2. Pine Family (Pinaceae).
  3. Redwood Family (Taxodiaceae).

Broadleaf Trees of Southern California.

You can see these families of broadleaf trees in Southern California: (details):

  1. Agave Family (Agavaceae).
  2. Beech Family (Fagaceae).
  3. Bignonia Family (Bignoniacae).
  4. Birch Family (Betulaceae).
  5. Buckeye Family (Hippocastanaceae).
  6. Cacao Family (Sterculiaceae).
  7. Dogwood Family (Cornaceae).
  8. Heath Family (Ericaceae).
  9. Honeysuckle Family (Caprifoliaceae).
  10. Laurel Family (Lauraceae).
  11. Maple Family (Aceraceae).
  12. Olive Family (Oleaceae).
  13. Palm Family (Palmaceae).
  14. Pea Family (Leguminosae).
  15. Rose Family (Rosaceae).
  16. Sycamore Family (Platanaceae).
  17. Walnut Family (Juglandaceae).
  18. Wax Myrtle Family (Myricaceae).
  19. Willow Family (Salicaceae).

For More Information.

Resources - Books.

Buy Trees of Western USA National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees: Western Region by Elbert L. Little. (Great photos of leaf, flower, and fruit, plus informative text guide you through over 300 native tree species west of the Rocky Mountains.)
Native Trees of Southern California Native Trees of Southern California by Victor P. Peterson, Rita Whitmore (Illustrator). Also, see your library for the 1975 classic version by P. Victor Peterson, University of California Press. This book details how to recognize all trees of Southern California.

Resources - Related pages


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