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The Best Books About Trees (Nonfiction & Fiction)

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“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.

Happy Scrolling!



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)



 

#BookAuthorLists
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
16A B Cedar: An Alphabet of TreesGeorge Ella LyonTreetures
17A Big TreeBruce HiscockTreetures
18A Dictionary of Botanical TermsTree Source
19A Different KingdomPaul KearneyGoodreads
20A Natural History of ConifersAljos FarjonGoodreads
21A Natural History of Western TreesDonald Culross PeattieGoodreads
22A New Tree Biology and DictionaryAlex L. ShigoPlanned Forest
23A Possible TreeJosephine Haskell AldridgeTreetures
24A Society of Pines: An Introduction to the Pines Among UsShutes S. RobertGoodreads
25A Tree Is GrowingArthur DorrosTreetures
26A Tree Is NiceJanice May UdryTreetures
27A-Z of Plant NamesTree Source
28A-Z of Tree Terms: A companion to British arboricultureTree Source
29Alien Plants. New Naturalist Series vol. 129Tree Source
30American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect TreeSusan FreinkelGoodreads
31An Introduction to Plant Structure and Development 2nd ed.Tree Source
32Arboriculture: Integrated Management of Landscape Trees, Shrubs, and VinesThought Co. 2
33Are Trees Alive?Debbie S. MillerTreetures
34Atlas of Nevada Conifers: A Phytogeographic ReferenceDavid Alan CharletGoodreads
35Atlas of Woody Plant Stems – Evolution, Structure, and Environmental Modifications.Tree Source
36Audubon Society Field Guide to TreesWess Pur
37Autumn LeavesKen RobbinsTreetures
38Be A Friend To TreesPatricia LauberTreetures
39Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to TreesNalini NadkarniGoodreads
40Blue and Beautiful Planet Earth, Our HomeRuth Rocha & Octavio RothTreetures
41Cherry TreeRuskin Bond and Allan EitzenDelightful Childrens Books
42Christmas Trees: Growing and Selling Trees, Wreaths, and GreensThought Co. 2
43Collins Tree GuideOwen Johnson & David MooreGabriel Hemery
44Conifer CountryMichael Edward KauffmannGoodreads
45Conifer Reproductive BiologyTree Source
46Conifers of CaliforniaRonald M. LannerGoodreads
47Conifers of the Pacific SlopeMichael Edward KauffmannGoodreads
48Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the TreesJim ArnoskyDelightful Childrens Books
49Dear Children of the Earth: A Letter From HomeSchim SchimmelTreetures
50Dirr’s Trees and Shrubs – an Illustrated EncyclopediaThought Co. 2
51Eastern Deciduous Forest, Second Edition: Ecology and Wildlife ConservationRichard H. YahnerForestry Degree
52Environmental ScienceG. Tyler Miller & Scott Spoolmans.Forestry Degree
53Essentials of Conservation Biology, Sixth EditionRichard B. Primacks.Forestry Degree
54EucalyptusMurray BailGoodreads
55Evaluating Tree DefectsWess Pur
56Eyewitness Books: TreeDavid BurnieTreetures
57Farewell To Shady GladeBill PeetTreetures
58Fernando’s GiftDouglas KeisterDelightful Childrens Books
59Flute’s Journey: The Life Of A Wood ThrushLynne CherryTreetures
60For the Love of the EarthP.K. HalinanTreetures
61Forest EcologyBurton V. Barnes, Donald R. Zak, Shirley R. Denton & Stephen H. Spurrs.Forestry Degree
62Forest Ecology, 3rd EditionJames P. KimminsForestry Degree
63Forest EcosystemsDavid A. Perry, Ram Oren & Stephen C. HartForestry Degree
64Forest Giants of the Pacific CoastRobert Van PeltGoodreads
65Forest MeasurementsThomas Eugene Avery & Harold Burkharts.Forestry Degree
66Forest Products and Wood Science: An Introduction, 5th EditionTree Source
67Guess What Trees Do?Barbara RinkoffTreetures
68Harry Potter and The Chamber of SecretsUSA Today
69How A Seed GrowsHelene JordanTreetures
70How To Make an Apple Pie and See the WorldMarjorie PricemanTreetures
71Howards EndE. M. ForsterFive Books
72In praise of plantsFrancis HalléGabriel Hemery
73In the Shadow of the BanyanVaddey RatnerConservation International
74It Could Still Be A TreeAllan FowlerTreetures
75Jack and the MeanstalkBrian and Rebecca WildsmithTreetures
76Jane EyreCharlotte BrontëFive Books
77Just A DreamChris Van AllsburgTreetures
78Land Plants – Trees: Advances in Botanical Research volume 74.Tree Source
79Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-deficit DisorderRichard LouvGabriel Hemery
80Living in the Environment: Principles, Connections, and SolutionsG. Tyler Miller and Scott Spoolmans.Forestry Degree
81Long Live EarthMeighan MorrisonTreetures
82Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American ForestLawrence S. EarleyGoodreads
83Made for Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and PinesRonald M. LannerGoodreads
84Manual of Leaf ArchitectureTree Source
85Mathematics for the Green IndustryTree Source
86Maya and the Town That Loved a TreeKiki and Kathryn ShawTreetures
87McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre FarmSid FleischmanTreetures
88Meetings with Remarkable TreesThomas PakenhamGoodreads
89Modern ArboricultureWess Pur
90Mother EarthNancy LuennTreetures
91My Life, My TreesRichard St. Barbe BakerTreetures
92My Side of the MountainJean CraigheadTreetures
93Mythago Wood (Mythago Wood, #1)Robert HoldstockGoodreads
94Native Trees for North American LandscapesThought Co. 2
95New Tree BiologyWess Pur
96Old Elm Speaks: Tree PoemsKristine O’ConnellTreetures
97Once There Was A TreeNatalia RomanovaTreetures
98One Day In The WoodsJean CraigheadTreetures
99One Good Apple: Growing Food for the Sake of the EarthCatherine PaladinoTreetures
100Opportunities in Forestry CareersThought Co. 2
101Outside and Inside TreesSandra MarkleTreetures
102Oxford Dictionary of Biology 7th ed.Tree Source
103Peach & BlueSarah S. KilborneTreetures
104Peterson Field Guide Series: A Field Guide to Eastern TreesGeorge A. Petrides, Janet Wehr, Roger Tory PetersonThought Co.
105Peterson Field Guide Series: A Field Guide to WesternTreesGeorge A. Petrides, Janet Wehr, Roger Tory PetersonThought Co.
106Plant Names – A Guide to Botanical NomenclatureTree Source
107Plant Names SimplifiedTree Source
108Plant Strategies Veg. ProcessesTree Source
109Plant Structure: A Colour Guide (2nd Edition)Tree Source
110Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari MaathaiClaire NivolaDelightful Childrens Books
111Plants – A Very Short IntroductionTree Source
112Pruning Trees Near Electrical Utility LinesWess Pur
113Remarkable Trees of the WorldThomas PakenhamGoodreads
114Saving Planet EarthTony JuniperGoodreads
115Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of PlantsJane Goodalls.Forestry Degree
116Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday TreesNancy Ross HugoGoodreads
117SiddharthaUSA Today
118Sky TreeThomas LockerTreetures
119Song of the TreesMildred TaylorTreetures
120State of WonderAnn PatchettConservation International
121Sylva: Or, a Discourse of Forest-Trees, and the Propagation of Timber in his Majesty’s DominionsJohn EvelynGabriel Hemery
122TEACHERS IN THE FOREST: Essays from the last wilderness in Mississippi Headwaters CountryBarry W. BabcockGoodreads
123Ten Tall OakTreesRichard EdwardsTreetures
124The Ancient OneUSA Today
125The Apartment House TreeBette KillionTreetures
126The Apple Pie TreeZoe HallTreetures
127The BibleUSA Today
128The Biology and Management of Landscape PalmsDonald R. HodelPlanned Forest
129The Birthday TreePaul FleischmanTreetures
130The Blossom On The Bough: A Book Of TreesAnne OpheliaTreetures
131The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the WorldMichael PollanGoodreads
132The Chocolate TreeAllen M. YoungTreetures
133The CODIT PrincipleDirk Dujeseifken and Walter LiesePlanned Forest
134The Empty PotDemiTreetures
135The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the AmazonSusanna B. Hecht & Alexander CockburnForestry Degree
136The Glory of the Tree: An Illustrated HistoryNoël KingsburyGoodreads
137The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and GreedJohn VaillantGoodreads
138The Grandpa TreeMike DonahueTreetures
139The Great Kapok TreeLynne CherryTreetures
140The Great Paper CaperOliver JeffersDelightful Childrens Books
141The Hollowing (Mythago Wood, #4)Robert HoldstockGoodreads
142The Last Child in the WoodsRichard LouvConservation International
143The Lie TreeFrances HardingeFive Books
144The Life & Love of TreesLewis BlackwellGoodreads
145The Little HouseVirginia Lee BurtonTreetures
146The Little PrinceUSA Today
147The Lord of the RingsUSA Today
148The Mountains of CaliforniaJohn MuirGoodreads
149The People Who Hugged Trees: An Environmental Folktale adaptedDeborah Lee RoseTreetures
150The Plant That Ate Dirty SocksNancy McArthurTreetures
151The Rainstick: A FableSandra Chisholm RobinsonTreetures
152The Sequoias of Yosemite National ParkH.T. HarveyGoodreads
153The Shy Tulip Murders (Claire Sharples, #3)Rebecca RothenbergGoodreads
154The Sign of the BeaverElizabeth GeorgeTreetures
155The silviculture of trees used in British forestryPeter SavillGabriel Hemery
156The Tenth Good Thing About BarneyJudith ViorstTreetures
157The TreeJudy HindleyTreetures
158The TreePascale De Bourgoing & Gallimard JeunesseTreetures
159The Tree Book: For Kids and Their Grown-upsGina IngogliaDelightful Childrens Books
160The Tree Farmer,Chuck Leavell and Nicholas CraottaTreetures
161The Tree in the MoonRosalind KervenTreetures
162The TreesConrad RichterFive Books
163The Unpeopled Season: Journal from a North Country WildernessDaniel J. RiceGoodreads
164The Urban Tree BookThought Co. 2
165The Woodland Steward: A Practical Guide to the Management of Small ForestsThought Co. 2
166The World Without UsAlan WeismanConservation International
167The Wump WorldBill PeetTreetures
168This Side of a WildernessDaniel J. RiceGoodreads
169Timberline: Mountain and Arctic Forest FrontiersStephen F. ArnoGoodreads
170To Kill a MockingbirdUSA Today
171Tokyo Digs a GardenJon-Erik LappanoGoodreads
172Tree BasicsWess Pur
173Tree Bear’s Adventures In LearningJune A. BradlawTreetures
174Tree Finder: A Manual for the Identification of TreesMay T. WattsThought Co.
175Tree of Life: The World of the African BaobabBarbara BashTreetures
176Tree Pruning BasicsWess Pur
177Tree Pruning Photo GuideWess Pur
178Tree: A New Vision of the American ForestJim BalogGoodreads
179TreesFandex Family Field GuidesTreetures
180TreesIvan M. AnattaTreetures
181TreesRena K. KirkpatrickTreetures
182Trees – 3rd EditionTree Source
183Trees – A Complete Guide to Their Biology and StructureTree Source
184Trees: A Visual GuideTony RoddGoodreads
185Trees: Their Use, Management, Cultivation and Biology – RRPTree Source
186Turkey’s Gift to the PeopleAni RuckiTreetures
187What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the SensesDaniel ChamovitzPlanned Forest
188Where Once There Was A WoodDenise FlemingTreetures
189White Waters and BlackGordon MacCreaghConservation International
190Wildwood: a journey through treesRoger DeakinGabriel Hemery
191Winter TreesCarole Gerber and Leslie EvansDelightful Childrens Books
192Within These woods: a collection of Northwoods nature essays, with original illustrationsTimothy GoodwinGoodreads
193Woodland management: a practical guideChristopher StarrGabriel Hemery


13 Best Tree Book Sources/Lists



SourceArticle
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