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  http://www.timberpress.com/books/dirrs_tree_shrub_finder/dirr/9781604692136.

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.