Best Books, Fiction, Kids, Nonfiction, Science & Nature

The Best Books About Trees (Nonfiction & Fiction)

April 19, 2017

“What are the best books about Trees?” We looked at 193 of the top books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

Trees, we literally can’t live without them.

Learn and read about our leafy Earthmates with our list of books made from them about them. The top 15 books, all appearing on 2 or more lists, are below with images, descriptions, and links to buy. The remaining titles, as well as the lists we used to create our article with, can be found alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

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Top 15 Books About Trees



15 .) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Lists It Appears On:

  • Five Books
  • USA Today

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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14 .) Night Tree by Eve Bunting

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Treetures

By moonlight in the quiet forest, a young boy and his family decorate their favorite tree with popcorn, apples, tangerines, and sunflower-seed balls as a gift for the animals of the woods.

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13 .) Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

Lists It Appears On:

  • Delightful Childrens Books
  • Treetures

Lois Ehlert uses watercolor collage and pieces of actual seeds, fabric, wire, and roots in this innovative and rich introduction to the life of a tree. A special glossary explains how roots absorb nutrients, what photosynthesis is, how sap circulates, and other facts about trees.

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12 .) The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

Lists It Appears On:

  • Tree Source
  • Planned Forest

“Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.

After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

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11 .) The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Treetures

“Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.”

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty. “

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10 .) The Seasons Of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Lists It Appears On:

  • Delightful Childrens Books
  • Treetures

This book about nature and the changing seasons focuses on a young boy and a very special apple tree. In Gail Gibbons’s bright illustrations, Arnold collects apple blossoms in spring, builds a tree house in summer, makes apple pie and cider in the fall, and hangs strings of popcorn and berries for the birds in winter, among other seasonal activities. Includes a recipe for apple pie and a description of how an apple cider press works.

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9 .) The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter by Colin Tudge

Lists It Appears On:

  • Gabriel Hemery
  • Goodreads

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8 .) The Sibley Guide to Trees by David Allen Sibley

Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co.
  • Forestry Degree

David Allen Sibley, the preeminent bird-guide author and illustrator, now applies his formidable skills of identification and illustration to the trees of North America. Monumental in scope but small enough to take into the field, The Sibley Guide to Trees is an astonishingly elegant guide to a complex subject. It condenses a huge amount of information about tree identification more than has ever been collected in a single book into a logical, accessible, easy-to-use format. With more than 4,100 meticulous, exquisitely detailed paintings, the Guide highlights the often subtle similarities and distinctions between more than 600 tree species native trees as well as many introduced species. No other guide has ever made field identification so clear.

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7 .) The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston

Lists It Appears On:

  • Forestry Degree
  • Goodreads

“Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored.

The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air.

The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death.”

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6 .) Trees: Their Natural History by P.A Thomas

Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co. 2
  • Gabriel Hemery

Trees are vital to the healthy functioning of the global ecosystem and unparalleled in the range of materials they provide for human use. This volume is a comprehensive introduction to the natural history of trees, with information on all aspects of tree biology and ecology in easy-to-read and concise language. Peter Thomas uncovers fascinating insights into these ubiquitous plants, addressing in an illuminating way questions such as how trees are designed, how they grow and reproduce, and why they eventually die. Written for a nontechnical audience, the book is nonetheless rigorous in its treatment and a valuable source of reference for beginning students as well as interested lay readers.

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5 .) The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Treetures
  • Gabriel Hemery

Twenty years ago Chelsea Green published the first trade edition of The Man Who Planted Trees, a timeless eco-fable about what one person can do to restore the earth. The hero of the story, Elzéard Bouffier, spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence in the south of France. The result was a total transformation of the landscape-from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water.

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4 .) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Lists It Appears On:

  • USA Today
  • Goodreads
  • Treetures

“Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’

So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.”

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3 .) National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Western Region by Elbert L. Little

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Thought Co. 2
  • Thought Co.

All 933 identification pictures are full-color photos of significant details of virtually all native trees and many cultivated species as you see them in their natural habitat.

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2 .) National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region by Elbert L. Little

Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co. 2
  • Thought Co.
  • Goodreads

“Tree peepers everywhere will enjoy these two guides which explore the incredible environment of our country’s forests-including seasonal features, habitat, range, and lore. Nearly 700 species of trees are detailed in photographs of leaf shape, bark, flowers, fruit, and fall leaves — all can be quickly accessed making this the ideal field guide for any time of year.

Note: the Eastern Edition generally covers states east of the Rocky Mountains, while the Western Edition covers the Rocky Mountain range and all the states to the west of it.”

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1 .) American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow

Lists It Appears On:

  • Thought Co. 2
  • Goodreads
  • Conservation International

“Among American Canopy’s many captivating stories: the Liberty Trees, where colonists gathered to plot rebellion against the British; Henry David Thoreau’s famous retreat into the woods; the creation of New York City’s Central Park; the great fire of 1871 that killed a thousand people in the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin; the fevered attempts to save the American chestnut and the American elm from extinction; and the controversy over spotted owls and the old-growth forests they inhabited. Rutkow also explains how trees were of deep interest to such figures as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Teddy Roosevelt, and Franklin Roosevelt, who oversaw the planting of some three billion trees nationally in his time as president.

Never before has anyone treated our country’s trees and forests as the subject of a broad historical study, and the result is an accessible, informative, and thoroughly entertaining read. Audacious in its four-hundred-year scope, authoritative in its detail, and elegant in its execution, American Canopy is perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike and announces Eric Rutkow as a major new author of popular history.”

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The Additional Best Tree Books (Fiction & Nonfiction)



 

# Book Author Lists
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
16 A B Cedar: An Alphabet of Trees George Ella Lyon Treetures
17 A Big Tree Bruce Hiscock Treetures
18 A Dictionary of Botanical Terms Tree Source
19 A Different Kingdom Paul Kearney Goodreads
20 A Natural History of Conifers Aljos Farjon Goodreads
21 A Natural History of Western Trees Donald Culross Peattie Goodreads
22 A New Tree Biology and Dictionary Alex L. Shigo Planned Forest
23 A Possible Tree Josephine Haskell Aldridge Treetures
24 A Society of Pines: An Introduction to the Pines Among Us Shutes S. Robert Goodreads
25 A Tree Is Growing Arthur Dorros Treetures
26 A Tree Is Nice Janice May Udry Treetures
27 A-Z of Plant Names Tree Source
28 A-Z of Tree Terms: A companion to British arboriculture Tree Source
29 Alien Plants. New Naturalist Series vol. 129 Tree Source
30 American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree Susan Freinkel Goodreads
31 An Introduction to Plant Structure and Development 2nd ed. Tree Source
32 Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and Vines Thought Co. 2
33 Are Trees Alive? Debbie S. Miller Treetures
34 Atlas of Nevada Conifers: A Phytogeographic Reference David Alan Charlet Goodreads
35 Atlas of Woody Plant Stems – Evolution, Structure, and Environmental Modifications. Tree Source
36 Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees Wess Pur
37 Autumn Leaves Ken Robbins Treetures
38 Be A Friend To Trees Patricia Lauber Treetures
39 Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees Nalini Nadkarni Goodreads
40 Blue and Beautiful Planet Earth, Our Home Ruth Rocha & Octavio Roth Treetures
41 Cherry Tree Ruskin Bond and Allan Eitzen Delightful Childrens Books
42 Christmas Trees: Growing and Selling Trees, Wreaths, and Greens Thought Co. 2
43 Collins Tree Guide Owen Johnson & David Moore Gabriel Hemery
44 Conifer Country Michael Edward Kauffmann Goodreads
45 Conifer Reproductive Biology Tree Source
46 Conifers of California Ronald M. Lanner Goodreads
47 Conifers of the Pacific Slope Michael Edward Kauffmann Goodreads
48 Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Trees Jim Arnosky Delightful Childrens Books
49 Dear Children of the Earth: A Letter From Home Schim Schimmel Treetures
50 Dirr’s Trees and Shrubs – an Illustrated Encyclopedia Thought Co. 2
51 Eastern Deciduous Forest, Second Edition: Ecology and Wildlife Conservation Richard H. Yahner Forestry Degree
52 Environmental Science G. Tyler Miller & Scott Spoolmans. Forestry Degree
53 Essentials of Conservation Biology, Sixth Edition Richard B. Primacks. Forestry Degree
54 Eucalyptus Murray Bail Goodreads
55 Evaluating Tree Defects Wess Pur
56 Eyewitness Books: Tree David Burnie Treetures
57 Farewell To Shady Glade Bill Peet Treetures
58 Fernando’s Gift Douglas Keister Delightful Childrens Books
59 Flute’s Journey: The Life Of A Wood Thrush Lynne Cherry Treetures
60 For the Love of the Earth P.K. Halinan Treetures
61 Forest Ecology Burton V. Barnes, Donald R. Zak, Shirley R. Denton & Stephen H. Spurrs. Forestry Degree
62 Forest Ecology, 3rd Edition James P. Kimmins Forestry Degree
63 Forest Ecosystems David A. Perry, Ram Oren & Stephen C. Hart Forestry Degree
64 Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast Robert Van Pelt Goodreads
65 Forest Measurements Thomas Eugene Avery & Harold Burkharts. Forestry Degree
66 Forest Products and Wood Science: An Introduction, 5th Edition Tree Source
67 Guess What Trees Do? Barbara Rinkoff Treetures
68 Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets USA Today
69 How A Seed Grows Helene Jordan Treetures
70 How To Make an Apple Pie and See the World Marjorie Priceman Treetures
71 Howards End E. M. Forster Five Books
72 In praise of plants Francis Hallé Gabriel Hemery
73 In the Shadow of the Banyan Vaddey Ratner Conservation International
74 It Could Still Be A Tree Allan Fowler Treetures
75 Jack and the Meanstalk Brian and Rebecca Wildsmith Treetures
76 Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë Five Books
77 Just A Dream Chris Van Allsburg Treetures
78 Land Plants – Trees: Advances in Botanical Research volume 74. Tree Source
79 Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-deficit Disorder Richard Louv Gabriel Hemery
80 Living in the Environment: Principles, Connections, and Solutions G. Tyler Miller and Scott Spoolmans. Forestry Degree
81 Long Live Earth Meighan Morrison Treetures
82 Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest Lawrence S. Earley Goodreads
83 Made for Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines Ronald M. Lanner Goodreads
84 Manual of Leaf Architecture Tree Source
85 Mathematics for the Green Industry Tree Source
86 Maya and the Town That Loved a Tree Kiki and Kathryn Shaw Treetures
87 McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm Sid Fleischman Treetures
88 Meetings with Remarkable Trees Thomas Pakenham Goodreads
89 Modern Arboriculture Wess Pur
90 Mother Earth Nancy Luenn Treetures
91 My Life, My Trees Richard St. Barbe Baker Treetures
92 My Side of the Mountain Jean Craighead Treetures
93 Mythago Wood (Mythago Wood, #1) Robert Holdstock Goodreads
94 Native Trees for North American Landscapes Thought Co. 2
95 New Tree Biology Wess Pur
96 Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems Kristine O’Connell Treetures
97 Once There Was A Tree Natalia Romanova Treetures
98 One Day In The Woods Jean Craighead Treetures
99 One Good Apple: Growing Food for the Sake of the Earth Catherine Paladino Treetures
100 Opportunities in Forestry Careers Thought Co. 2
101 Outside and Inside Trees Sandra Markle Treetures
102 Oxford Dictionary of Biology 7th ed. Tree Source
103 Peach & Blue Sarah S. Kilborne Treetures
104 Peterson Field Guide Series: A Field Guide to Eastern Trees George A. Petrides, Janet Wehr, Roger Tory Peterson Thought Co.
105 Peterson Field Guide Series: A Field Guide to WesternTrees George A. Petrides, Janet Wehr, Roger Tory Peterson Thought Co.
106 Plant Names – A Guide to Botanical Nomenclature Tree Source
107 Plant Names Simplified Tree Source
108 Plant Strategies Veg. Processes Tree Source
109 Plant Structure: A Colour Guide (2nd Edition) Tree Source
110 Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai Claire Nivola Delightful Childrens Books
111 Plants – A Very Short Introduction Tree Source
112 Pruning Trees Near Electrical Utility Lines Wess Pur
113 Remarkable Trees of the World Thomas Pakenham Goodreads
114 Saving Planet Earth Tony Juniper Goodreads
115 Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants Jane Goodalls. Forestry Degree
116 Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees Nancy Ross Hugo Goodreads
117 Siddhartha USA Today
118 Sky Tree Thomas Locker Treetures
119 Song of the Trees Mildred Taylor Treetures
120 State of Wonder Ann Patchett Conservation International
121 Sylva: Or, a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in his Majesty’s Dominions John Evelyn Gabriel Hemery
122 TEACHERS IN THE FOREST: Essays from the last wilderness in Mississippi Headwaters Country Barry W. Babcock Goodreads
123 Ten Tall OakTrees Richard Edwards Treetures
124 The Ancient One USA Today
125 The Apartment House Tree Bette Killion Treetures
126 The Apple Pie Tree Zoe Hall Treetures
127 The Bible USA Today
128 The Biology and Management of Landscape Palms Donald R. Hodel Planned Forest
129 The Birthday Tree Paul Fleischman Treetures
130 The Blossom On The Bough: A Book Of Trees Anne Ophelia Treetures
131 The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World Michael Pollan Goodreads
132 The Chocolate Tree Allen M. Young Treetures
133 The CODIT Principle Dirk Dujeseifken and Walter Liese Planned Forest
134 The Empty Pot Demi Treetures
135 The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon Susanna B. Hecht & Alexander Cockburn Forestry Degree
136 The Glory of the Tree: An Illustrated History Noël Kingsbury Goodreads
137 The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed John Vaillant Goodreads
138 The Grandpa Tree Mike Donahue Treetures
139 The Great Kapok Tree Lynne Cherry Treetures
140 The Great Paper Caper Oliver Jeffers Delightful Childrens Books
141 The Hollowing (Mythago Wood, #4) Robert Holdstock Goodreads
142 The Last Child in the Woods Richard Louv Conservation International
143 The Lie Tree Frances Hardinge Five Books
144 The Life & Love of Trees Lewis Blackwell Goodreads
145 The Little House Virginia Lee Burton Treetures
146 The Little Prince USA Today
147 The Lord of the Rings USA Today
148 The Mountains of California John Muir Goodreads
149 The People Who Hugged Trees: An Environmental Folktale adapted Deborah Lee Rose Treetures
150 The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks Nancy McArthur Treetures
151 The Rainstick: A Fable Sandra Chisholm Robinson Treetures
152 The Sequoias of Yosemite National Park H.T. Harvey Goodreads
153 The Shy Tulip Murders (Claire Sharples, #3) Rebecca Rothenberg Goodreads
154 The Sign of the Beaver Elizabeth George Treetures
155 The silviculture of trees used in British forestry Peter Savill Gabriel Hemery
156 The Tenth Good Thing About Barney Judith Viorst Treetures
157 The Tree Judy Hindley Treetures
158 The Tree Pascale De Bourgoing & Gallimard Jeunesse Treetures
159 The Tree Book: For Kids and Their Grown-ups Gina Ingoglia Delightful Childrens Books
160 The Tree Farmer, Chuck Leavell and Nicholas Craotta Treetures
161 The Tree in the Moon Rosalind Kerven Treetures
162 The Trees Conrad Richter Five Books
163 The Unpeopled Season: Journal from a North Country Wilderness Daniel J. Rice Goodreads
164 The Urban Tree Book Thought Co. 2
165 The Woodland Steward: A Practical Guide to the Management of Small Forests Thought Co. 2
166 The World Without Us Alan Weisman Conservation International
167 The Wump World Bill Peet Treetures
168 This Side of a Wilderness Daniel J. Rice Goodreads
169 Timberline: Mountain and Arctic Forest Frontiers Stephen F. Arno Goodreads
170 To Kill a Mockingbird USA Today
171 Tokyo Digs a Garden Jon-Erik Lappano Goodreads
172 Tree Basics Wess Pur
173 Tree Bear’s Adventures In Learning June A. Bradlaw Treetures
174 Tree Finder: A Manual for the Identification of Trees May T. Watts Thought Co.
175 Tree of Life: The World of the African Baobab Barbara Bash Treetures
176 Tree Pruning Basics Wess Pur
177 Tree Pruning Photo Guide Wess Pur
178 Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest Jim Balog Goodreads
179 Trees Fandex Family Field Guides Treetures
180 Trees Ivan M. Anatta Treetures
181 Trees Rena K. Kirkpatrick Treetures
182 Trees – 3rd Edition Tree Source
183 Trees – A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Structure Tree Source
184 Trees: A Visual Guide Tony Rodd Goodreads
185 Trees: Their Use, Management, Cultivation and Biology – RRP Tree Source
186 Turkey’s Gift to the People Ani Rucki Treetures
187 What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses Daniel Chamovitz Planned Forest
188 Where Once There Was A Wood Denise Fleming Treetures
189 White Waters and Black Gordon MacCreagh Conservation International
190 Wildwood: a journey through trees Roger Deakin Gabriel Hemery
191 Winter Trees Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans Delightful Childrens Books
192 Within These woods: a collection of Northwoods nature essays, with original illustrations Timothy Goodwin Goodreads
193 Woodland management: a practical guide Christopher Starr Gabriel Hemery


13 Best Tree Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Conservation International Your forest reading list: 6 must-read books about trees
Delightful Childrens Books 9 Children’s Books About Trees
Five Books Tracy Chevalier recommends the best books on Trees
Forestry Degree Our Top 12 Books on Forest Conservation
Gabriel Hemery Top ten tree books
Goodreads Best Books About Trees
Planned Forest TREE SCIENCE BOOKS
Thought Co. Top 6 Tree Identification Guides Reviewed
Thought Co. 2 10 Best Tree and Forestry Reference Books and Guides
Tree Source Tree Biology & Plant Science
Treetures Pick from the Following Books about Trees
USA Today The best trees in literature
Wess Pur Tree Pruning and Tree Health Books

 

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