The Conifer and Broadleaf Trees of the South

Charles "Chuck" Ray moved to Naples, FL in 1979. Chuck grew up in South Dakota and joined the U.S. Air Force shortly after high school. He served in the Air Force as a Flight Engineer for 20 years. During that career he earned most of the credits toward a Bachelor's Degree. After leaving the Air Force he returned to the University of Nebraska where he completed a B.S. in Biology, and a M.S. in Limnology (Freshwater Biology).Following graduation he joined an engineering-Planning firm in Orange County, California. Chuck worked from his California office, participating in and managing environmental projects in California, Arizona, Utah, Alaska and other western states. His studies concentrated on lakes and streams that might be affected by projects that included dams, mines, power lines, transportation corridors and others. Besides aquatic studies, he often participated in other fields including Hydrology, Botany and Ornithology. Chuck came to Florida in 1979 to assume partnership in a 600 acre resort and real estate project known as Port of the Islands. The resort is situated on a canal that is surrounded by mangrove forest, hardwood hammocks, and pine flatwoods. It includes habitat for manatees and other threatened or endangered species. The canal leads out to the Ten Thousand Islands. Chuck's work there included operation of the marina and the planning and development of the resort's real estate. After retirement from the resort, Chuck continued his lifetime hobbies of gardening and fishing. Soon after, he became a Florida Master Gardener and later a Certified Horticulturist. His work at home, in the local woods and waters, and in the gardens and Plant Clinic of the Collier County Extension, gave him a broad knowledge of the plants of Florida, and a special interest in trees. Cathleen Feser is editor of this book, and a partner in its preparation. Cathy is Urban Horticulturist for Collier County Extension. She is a distinguished graduate of New Mexico State University with Masters Degrees in Horticultural Sciences and English.

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