search plant names:
Virtual Herbarium
K-12 Educational Materials
Site Map

Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Foreword

Foreword Part 1  

Trees may be the oldest and largest living things in nature. They are closely associated with our daily lives, yet most of us now little about them and barely can tell one type of tree from another.

Sixteen editions of this handy pocket guide have been printed since John Simcox Holmes, North Carolina's first State Forester, put together the first edition in 1922. Holmes' idea was to provide an easy-to-use reference guide to help people of all ages recognize many of our common forest trees on sight. That goal has not changed.

Although the book has changed little, some uses of wood and general information about the trees have. Carriages and wagons, for example, aren't often made from Shagbark hickory (or anything else) anymore, and Loblolly pine now is used for making tremendous amounts of pine plywood, something unheard of in the 1920's.

Keeping these changes in mind, we revised Common Forest Trees of North Carolina in 1977 and 1995. Much of the narrative material, however, remains just as former State Forester Holmes wrote it in 1922.

Many of the drawings for this revision of the book were provided by William C. Grimm as they appear in his book, The Book of Trees. We have used these drawings and some of Grimm's narrative material with both his permission and that of his publisher, The Stackpole Company. We are grateful to Mr. Grimm and The Stackpole Company for their assistance in making this publication possible. A easy to use map of the trees' ranges is also included with each listing.

The scientific names used in this book follow those used in Checklist of United States Trees (Native and Naturalized), USDA Forest Service Handbook Number 54 1, published in September 1979. Common names for trees often are confusing, and it is nearly impossible to cite all of the names in use. Only those names generally used in North Carolina are mentioned.

Plant Information Center
About PIC  |  Project Staff   |  Advisory Panel Research Activities 
Funding provided in part by
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Plant Information Center is produced
in conjuction with Botnet