Trees are amazing. It’s easy to forget them – standing watch as we live out our short lives under their steady gaze. And yet we’re learning more and more about how complex and interconnected trees are with each other, our ecosystems and the entire planet. But enough musings from me – if you want to rediscover the magic of these woody wonders, look no further than these seven books – deep dives into everything from urban trees to ancient British rainforests (yes, rainforests!) to the minutiae of individual trees – the meaning we can derive from the shapes and patterns in their trunks, branches and leaves… revelatory reading!
1. A Trillion Trees: How We Can Reforest our World by Fred Pearce
Trees cool and sustain our planet, but rampant cutting and burning push many forests to the brink of extinction. However, there’s hope. In A Trillion Trees, Fred Pearce explores an alternative approach. Instead of mass planting, he advocates making room
for nature to restore forests. Pearce takes us on a journey from illegal logging in the Amazon, sharing stories of discovery, resilient villagers, and pioneering scientists. This compelling book combines travel writing and science to inspire action and celebrate Earth’s abundant trees.
2. How to Read a Tree: Clues & Patterns from Roots to Leaves by Tristan Goole
‘Will undoubtedly leave you with a deeper appreciation of trees…your country walks will
never be quite the same again.’ (Daily Mail) Tristan Gooley unlocks the secrets hidden
within every unique tree. Discover the principles behind tree shapes and patterns, deciphering their meaning. Gain rare skills applicable in both urban and wild landscapes. As a renowned author and instructor with two decades of experience, Gooley reveals phenomena overlooked by others. This book contains exclusive signs found nowhere else. Once you learn to see these secrets, your perspective on trees will forever change.
3. Forest: Walking Among Trees by Matt Collins
‘A visual masterpiece… that combines gorgeous photography with trivia and anecdotes that transport you from your couch to the forest floor. (The Smithsonian) Forest celebrates the enduring magnificence, economic relevance, and enchantment of trees and forests. Matt Collins takes us on a global journey, connecting historical context with modern applications of iconic trees. He explores diverse woodlands and meets individuals intertwined with their existence. Through engaging storytelling and stunning medium-format images, Collins weaves a captivating narrative of the forest’s tale, showcasing its significance in contemporary life and its native habitat.
4. Urban Arboreal: A Modern Glossary of City Trees by Michael Jordan
Embark on a global journey through the cities, exploring ancient trees from Buenos Aires to Berlin, San Francisco to Sydney. In Urban Arboreal, discover the Kentucky yellowwood in Hanover, thousand-year-old olive trees in Athens, and towering giants
along North America’s West Coast. Unearth the hidden histories intertwined with these botanical treasures. With stunning artwork, this book celebrates the vital role urban trees play in our lives, from the air we breathe to the cherished place they hold in our hearts.
5. The Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests Can Save Us If We Let Them by Peter Wohlleben
From the bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees comes The Power of Trees, an enlightening manifesto on ancient forests. Peter Wohlleben explores how forests adapt to climate change, passing wisdom through generations. Critiquing forestry management and mass tree planting, he emphasizes the importance of protecting old growth forests. As human-caused climate change wreaks havoc, forests become vital for a habitable planet. Wohlleben warns against ecological disasters caused by misguided tree planting schemes and highlights the intricate ecosystems forests ncompass. To save trees and ourselves, we must let forests heal naturally and trust in their resilience.
6. The Tree Climbers Guide by Jack Cooke
A captivating blend of writing, illustration, and nature appreciation, this charming companion is a must-have for any book collection. Jack Cooke takes us on a whimsical journey through the city’s canopy, perched on oak branches, ascending Scots pines, and unveiling hidden views from treetops. From parks to secret gardens, this guidebook and meditation on nature’s solace is as eccentric and enchanting as the trees themselves. It reminds us that the greatest joys in life are often free if we take the right steps.
7. The Lost Rainforests of Britain by Guy Shrubsole
‘Fascinating, lyrical … A celebration of these dazzling worlds and a plea to act before they are extinguished.’ (The Times) Writer and campaigner Guy Shrubsole’s move to Devon led him to discover temperate rainforests in Dartmoor. This book unveils the history, ecology, and distribution of rainforests across England, Wales, and Scotland. Once covering a significant portion of Britain, these rainforests now remain as fragments, hosting diverse life forms. Despite their significance, their existence is largely unknown. Through a captivating journey, Shrubsole highlights the urgent need for support to preserve these ecosystems, lest they vanish from our landscape and memory. A remarkable exploration seeking to revive Britain’s lost rainforests.