Acer holds a proud place among the largest and most important woody genera. Its significance in both ornamental and economic uses is matched by its taxonomic complexity. This book represents the fruit of almost two decades of work by its distinguished authors. In 1975, three years before Timber Press published his landmark Japanese Maples, the late J. D. Vertrees visited the authors - a nurseryman, a taxonomist/dendrologist, and an avid maple collector - in The Netherlands and suggested that they collaborate to produce a definitive work on the genus. The challenge was accepted, and the three, for a time calling themselves the Club of Acerologists, set to work. An early outline of the book optimistically called for completion and publication within five years! As the initial work began, it became clear that a massive research effort was required; this took far longer than the authors had anticipated. A full nineteen years after its initial conception the much-anticipated book is appearing, the first truly comprehensive treatment of the genus. Among the topics discussed are the history of maple names, maple structure, native habitats and distribution, pests and diseases, propagation, paleobotany and evolution, and reproduction and taxonomy. The heart of the book is the proposed revision of the genus, which combines with the exhaustive descriptions of hybrids and cultivars to create the greatest single source of information on maples in any language. The more than 200 color photographs of significant species and cultivars add greatly to the book's usefulness. Of enormous importance to botanists because of its taxonomic and nomenclatural contributions, as well as for its exhaustivebibliography, Maples of the World is a significant book for horticulturists, landscape architects and designers, growers, and gardeners because of the key role maples play in ornamental plantings.