Books

General

Japanese Maple Handbook (PDF)

Richard Cantrell

With permission, excerpts from Richard’s booklet are provided. Written primarily for bonsai enthusiasts growing Japanese maples, this informative guide gives helpful tips and tasks broken down for each month. This is a very useful resource not only for bonsai growers, but also avid gardeners.

Japanese Maples: The Complete Guide to Selection and Cultivation, fourth edition

Peter Gregory and J. D. Vertrees

Whether planting a single specimen tree or seriously collecting maples, this is the reference book to consult.

Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs

Gary W. Watson and E.B. Himelick

Intended to help gardeners and landscape professionals plant trees and shrubs with better success. Very practical information is provided with text and illustrations that can be put to immediate use.

The Tree Care Primer

Christopher Roddick with Beth Hanson

This indispensable primer will teach you how to assess a tree’s health and understand what they need as the basic concepts and essential techniques of common-sense tree care are explained.

 

Science

A New Tree Biology

Alex L. Shigo

This is a must read for those who love trees. A great guide to a better understanding of trees and their problems and proper care. The wealth of material covered is the result of years of research in the field.

Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines, fourth edition

Richard W. Harris, James R. Clark, and Nelda P. Matheny

This comprehensive and logically organized guide describes current and new woody landscape plant selection and maintenance practices and evaluates them based on the most recent research and experience.

Botany for Gardeners, revised edition

Brian Capon

This expanded and updated bestseller, offers a clear explanation of how plants grow. It provides answers to the many questions about the complex plant processes, written in everyday language, allowing readers to understand plants “from the plant’s point of view.”

Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants II

Carl E. Whitcomb

An authoritative text based on science, not speculation. It provides sound advice on not only what to do, but why. Topics include transplanting, drainage, nutrition, and other factors important in dealing with both the planting and establishment of landscape plants. An emphasis is placed on the significant role roots play in the eventual long term health of a plant.

Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs

Whitney Cranshaw

A well organized and complete text on garden insects. Easily identify insects with well over 1,200 full-color photographs showing them in various life cycle stages. The simple yet complete explanations, diagrams and photographs make this the best reference for diagnosing most insect problems.

Pirone’s Tree Maintenance, seventh edition

John R. Hartman, Thomas P. Pirone and Mary Ann Sall

This is an indispensable guide for homeowner and professional who want to keep their trees healthy and pest free. An extensive section on diagnosis and control of tree pests and diseases is included. Other tree problems are also discussed.

 

Pruning

Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning: What, When, Where and How to Prune For a More Beautiful Garden, second edition

Cass Turnbull

This book takes the mystery out of pruning. Filled with illustrations and clear, step-by-step instructions for pruning a variety of trees, shrubs, vines and more.

Niwaki: Pruning, Training and Shaping Japanese Garden Trees

Jake Hobson

This book illuminates the practice known as niwaki, an artistic custom integral to the gardening legacy of Japan, in a fascinating guide to shaping trees in ways that reflect the aesthetics of Japanese gardens.

The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers, second edition

George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham

A revised comprehensive text on the subject of pruning that provides the best possible techniques and practices used today. The reasons and consequences of pruning are explained with helpful photographs illustrating key pruning points.

 

Aesthetics

Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy

Deborah R. Koreshoff

This is an excellent resource for building an understanding of the philosophy and techniques of bonsai which are used in the art of pruning, known as aesthetic pruning. Learning how to properly control and direct the growth of a tree to achieve a desired look is the key to success.

Bonsai with Japanese Maples

Peter Adams

Japanese maples are among the most popular and suitable plants for bonsai design. The specific horticultural needs of Japanese maples as bonsai subjects are discussed and proven techniques for creating and maintaining beautiful specimens are illustrated.

The Art of Bonsai: Creation, Care and Enjoyment

Yuji Yoshimura and Giovanna M. Halford

A definitive work on the subject of bonsai, complete in every way. This handy volume is an indispensable guidebook to bonsai, containing the essentials of an art that is one of Japan’s most treasured traditions – sculpturing beauty in living wood.

The Art of Natural Bonsai: Replicating Nature’s Beauty

Dave Joyce

Evoke nature in your bonsai by learning how to give them a pleasing taper and shape, with the interesting curves and direction changes found only in a natural tree.

The Secret Techniques of Bonsai: A Guide to Starting, Raising, and Shaping Bonsai

Masakuni Kawasumi II and Masakuni Kawasumi III

This book offers not only the basics for creating perfect bonsai but secret techniques developed over years of careful work and observation. The father-and-son team also delves into bonsai tool usage, giving the reader a clear sense of how to use specialized tools—or how to better use the garden and workshop tools they have at home.