Rosamund Pojar (left)

Rosamund Pojar (left)

Botanist writes guide to identifying northern trees in winter

Smithers botanist and naturalist Rosamund Pojar has expanded her ecological footprint with the second edition publishing of her book Trees and Shrubs in Winter: An Identification Guide for Northern British Columbia.

Smithers botanist and naturalist Rosamund Pojar has expanded her ecological footprint with the second edition publishing of her book Trees and Shrubs in Winter: An Identification Guide for Northern British Columbia.

Originally published in 2003 as a field guide for natural resources university students attending Northwest Community College, studying wildlife habitat and forestry in Northwestern British Columbia, Pojar decided to broaden the geographical framework of her book. She extended her study beyond the Bulkley Valley, Houston, Hazelton and Skeena River area to include trees and shrubs that can be found as far south as Williams Lake, north to the Yukon, and east to the Peace River.

The guide also includes most of the common coniferous trees found in British Columbia, and even some that don’t naturally grow in the study region but may have been planted in cut blocks.

Locally she thanks Williams Lake botanist Anna Roberts for locating specimens for this expanded second edition of her book. 

“Plants tell you what can grow in an area,” Pojar says, explaining the significance of her work. “I originally wrote the book for students who had to make decisions to replant a forest.” 

She says the leaves are often off the plants when natural resources students are studying habitats during the long Canadian winters, so her guide will help them identify the site conditions they can expect in a particular place.

“By looking at the plants found in a place, you can tell what the growing conditions are.”

It’s not just for students though, she says.

“If you wanted to buy a house in winter, it’s useful to know what the property is like.”

Pojar says she introduced the book to snowshoeing friends and they enjoyed it.

The book is illustrated by Telkwa artist Evi Coulson, a retired draftsperson, who is also a keen naturalist and loves to paint and draw subjects taken from nature.

Trees and Shrubs in Winter was published by Creekstone Press of Smithers and is available in local bookstores.


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