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which tree is where?

Discussion in 'Research' started by wordwalker, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    Does anyone know a good, general source for choosing which trees and plants might be found in a certain climate and environment?

    It's trickier than it sounds. It's easy to look up "how tall is a cedar?" or pick a particular real place and learn about that, but those are starting with the keywords. As writers, we often have a more general sense of what a place should be like--or dozens of places, over the course of a few books--and I don't know a way to get from "steep side of a valley" or "thickest part of the swamp" to what mix of which plants might be growing there.

    I'd call it not seeing the trees for the forest, but it's no joke.
  2. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

  3. Tom

    Tom Istar

    I often use specific climates, and I've found that there are always books and websites that list the trees and plants occurring in a specific region--say, the Adirondacks (as my most recent example) or a certain area of the Panamanian rainforest.
  4. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I'm with Tom N.
    I start with a location I want the feel of [currently looking at the highlands of North Lebanon and lands up in to southern Turkey] and then finding out what I can about that. I will meld more than one location together if I really want a specific mix of flora and/or fauna.
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    There's only a score or so basic trees you need to worry about. Most of the rest are variants on the theme. Soil and elevation are the main variables, so as has already been suggested, just search for mountain trees, swamp trees, plains trees or valley trees, desert trees, etc.

    I recommend staying generic. Don't worry about all the different types of cedar, just call it a cedar tree. If you want to inject an exotic note, make up your own modifer. White Cedar. Mourning Oak. That sort of thing.

    That's one part of the equation. The other is descriptions. For that, Google Images is a treasure trove. Do the same searches, then flip over to the Images page.

    Finally, if you want to see how things fit together, Google Earth is great. Pick an area (like Lebanon) and start looking around. If you have done your tree homework, you ought to be able to start identifying at least some. Like a cedar. :) And you get an idea of what else grows around or under, how close together the trees stand, what they look like in spring versus autumn, and so on.

    Bad news. Now do the same for underbrush, flowers, animal life ... it's not research, it's a career!

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