Wood Samples and Trunk Photographs

Image of Wood Samples and Trunk
Tree flora of Illinois

Identification guidebooks put information about plant and animal species in the palm of our hands. This identification guide, however, is quite unique. Instead of a book, this field guide is a box. Local ornithologist Benjamin T. Gault created this portable guide to help him with his fieldwork. Gault studied birds year-round and took detailed notes about the habitat in which he found different species. In order to identify trees in the winter, Gault needed a tree identification guide that did not rely on leaf characteristics. Each slat provides a reference for an Illinois tree species, with a photograph on one side and a wood sample on the other. Gault recorded where and when he took each photograph and each tree sample.