The new “DIRR.” It’s here.

From the legendary plantsman, Michael A. Dirr, another brilliant tome:”Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs”. This is the book every garden center worth its trees should have at the ready. Any nursery I work with has the old edition: a falling-apart-mud-splashed copy under the checkout counter. They don’t hesitate to use it. You get an idea how valuable it is.

As a home gardener, if you are going to be spending your hard earned cash on trees for your garden, this is the book for you. Do the research, folks. Trees take time to grow. Trees should be placed carefully. Trees are an investment in time and money and they will pay you back handsomely if you put the right tree in the right place. 3500 photos, 952 pages. $79.95 and absolutely worth every penny. This week, Timber Press is giving away a copy of this remarkable book. Go HERE to sign up for the contest.

For years I’ve relied on my old Dirr, and for good reasons. Dirr’s knowledge of the plant material (trees, shrubs, fine vines) is amazing. He is unerring in his assessment of each plant, and lets you know exactly what he thinks.

On Cornus alba, Tartarian dogwood:  “Their bright red and yellow stems (respectively) set against a steel-gray winter sky provide a tremendous psychological lift.”

I concur, whole-heartedly. And much better said than the old saw: provides good winter color.

And this bit about using the weeping white pine, Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ just cracks me up:

“Use as an accent plant; one is acceptable, two represent bad taste, and three disgrace.”

In the world of landscape design, garden design, independent nurseries and the science of arboriculture, Michael Dirr is a rock star.  He has received the highest honors from the American Horticultural Society, Garden Clubs of America, and the American Society for Horticultural Science, among many others.

Oh yeah, and there’s an APP for that: Click here to find the $14.99 Dirr Tree Finder

Disclosure: Yes, I am recommending this. Yes, I received a copy of it. I’d be buying one for myself if they hadn’t sent the one for review.

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10 Responses to The new “DIRR.” It’s here.

  1. Frances says:

    Thanks, Mary Ann. I signed up to win! I would love to have this book.

  2. Victoria says:

    I got a review copy in the post a couple of weeks ago. It was delivered to my office, unfortunately, which means that at some point I shall have to bring the car in, or take a taxi home, because it’s too heavy to carry. Duhrrr, indeed!

  3. Layanee says:

    It is a GREAT book. Every serious gardener should have a copy.

  4. Genevieve says:

    Mary Ann, I couldn’t agree more. Dirr CRACKED me up all through the book. He’s just brutal! Hilariously so. Even when I don’t agree (my climate is, after all, very different from his), I love reading his assessments of plants and how they do or look together. Great post!

  5. Mary Ann, My well-thumbed paperback 1990 edition of Dirr’s manual is one of my reference staples (and I love the app, too). How does the new edition differ from the old one?

  6. Pingback: Book Review: Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs — Austin Garden Design - J Peterson Garden Design

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  8. Pingback: Gossip in the Garden’s Great Giveaway – Dr. Dirr’s Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs — Gossip in the Garden

  9. Dave Margretta says:

    I’ve wanted to pick this book up for awhile now, but if I win it I won’t have to. Hope in win it.

  10. Pingback: Giveaway: Garden Blogs Featuring Dirr’s Encyclopedia — Timber Press Talks

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