These books about trees will teach you about the complex nature of trees species. We've outlined a list of some of the best books you can use to learn about nature.
Reading is one of the best ways to learn, broaden your horizons, and gain new perspectives. For those wishing to learn more about humanity’s connection to nature, start off slowly with some of these fascinating books about trees. We recommend checking your local library for these books before you download them digitally or purchase them online.
1. Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady
Co-written by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady, this book about trees follows one tree in particular: the Douglas fir. The entire book focuses on the biography of a single tree, from the simple seed to its life as a “nurse log” (a fallen tree that helps seedlings grow) more than 500 years later. You’ll end up with a greater appreciation for the humble tree, as this book shows the importance each one plays in sustaining life throughout entire ecosystems.
2. The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
For those looking for a slightly more scientific book about trees, Florence Williams’ “The Nature Fix”, investigates the benefits of the natural world on the human brain. With real-life examples from Finnish islands, eucalyptus groves in California and forest trails in Korea, this book is a must read to help understand the crucial role nature plays in all livelihood, especially as modern society shifts indoors.
3. The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
First published in 1953, this fictional book by Jean Giono contains valuable lessons that can be applied to modern society. This novel is about a shepherd in the French Alps who has tasked himself with planting 100 acorns a day in order to reforest the region. He continues his work, despite two world wars, and is rewarded with a completely lush and transformed region.
4. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
After dedicating his life to working in the forests of Germany, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of the woods in a rather unconventional manner with his book about trees’ hidden lives. His unique take on it explains how the trees are connected and communicate with one another, living in families to strengthen their communities. He believes that a happy forest is a healthy forest, and encourages people to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
5. Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo
The author, Nancy Ross Hugo, encourages people to watch trees the same way one might watch birds or other wildlife. They have so many incredible features like flowers, buds and even unique bark patterns that often get overlooked. Her book focuses on the 10 most common trees in North America, which Robert J. Llewellyn brings to life with his beautiful photographs.
6. The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins
Written by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, this children’s book teaches the importance of trees and standing up for a cause you believe in. It’s based on the true story of Kate Sessions, an accidental pioneer/activist that started an incredible movement to plant more trees across the desert city of San Diego. More than 100 years later, you can still see the fruits of her labor in parks and gardens across the city.
7. American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow
Written by Eric Rutkow, this book about trees showcases the role they played in the settlement of the country. It explains how modern America would not exist without the lush forests that grow all over the country. Enjoy this unique retelling of American history that concentrates on the importance of trees.
8. The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
This book by Richard Louv focuses on reuniting children with the natural wonder that is the great outdoors. He has noted that children today are disconnected from the natural world and seeks to link the “nature deficit” with the ever-increasing prevalence of diseases in children such as obesity, depression and ADD. Through his book, he hopes to empower parents by giving them the tools to reconnect their children with nature.
9. Nature's Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests by Joan Maloof
Joan Maloof’s book about trees gives such great insight into the unique world that is old-growth forests. She provides a history of forests and does a deep dive into how the ecosystems of ancient forests differ from those with human manipulation. It brings attention to the importance of old-growth forests and informs the reader why they need to be preserved.
10. Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
Roger Deakin was a British environmentalist, documentary-maker and writer. Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees is somewhat of an anthropological travelogue that focuses on what Deakin refers to as the fifth element – trees. This book follows the author from his English home, across Europe, Central Asia and Australia on a quest to learn more about the intricacies of human connection with trees.
- Rights of Nature: Global Movement, Legal Status & Potential
- 21 Books About Nature by BIPOC Authors
- Endangered Trees: 10 At-Risk Species
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