Books for the Tree Lover

As warmer days return Wisconsin to a reading-on-the-deck paradise, here are eight books a woodland owner will love—and learn tons from this summer.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

A New York Times Bestseller and Pultizer Prize winner, this novel is about trees and people who defend them, but readers also learn much about the inner workings of trees and how they communicate with and protect each other. Find it here.



The Hidden Forest: The Biography of an Ecosystem by Jon R. Luoma

A simple, yet detailed introduction to what happens in a fully-functioning forest. From microscopic organisms in the soil to the leafy giants themselves, Luoma explains the complex network and illustrates how essential decay can be for forest health. Find it here.

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Wohllenben draws on recent research describing how trees interact with each other and likens their communication to that of families. Learn how trees support others ailing from disease or warn of impending dangers to deeply understand the regeneration of a forest. Find it here.

The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees by David George Haskill

The Forest Unseen, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, keenly explores one square-meter of old-growth forest for a year. Haskill begins each chapter with a single observation and brilliantly exposes the forest unseen. In The Songs of Trees, Haskill takes a different approach, focusing on 12 specific trees, but he examines their relationships with people, fungi, other plants and animals and demonstrating how history and ecology are revealed in the lives of trees. Find them here.


Witness Tree: Seasons of Change with a Century-Old Oak by Lynda V. Mapes

Mapes investigates a century-old oak to give voice to a tree that has seen it all. From climbing high in the canopy to coring into its center, she spends a year in the Harvard Forest alongside a cadre of scientists and specialists to tell the story of climate-changed as witnessed by the red oak.

That Tree by Mark Hirsch

The perfect coffee-table book for tree lovers. Documenting a year in the life of burr oak, photographer and Wisconsin native Mark Hirsch captured the lonely tree every day for an entire year with his iPhone. Stunning, full-color images adorn this visual appreciation of a single tree. Find it here.

Aldo Leopold on Forestry and Conservation
edited by Jed Meunier and Curt Meine

A collection of 46 of Leopold’s seminal papers, letters, presentations, and other writings published in the Journal of Forestry and other outlets that illustrate his rich legacy. Features introductions to each important entry prepared by forest ecologist Jed Meunier (a great-grandson of Leopold) and Leopold scholar Curt Meine. Find it here.

My Healthy Woods Handbook

We might be biased, but this informative, easy-to-read collection of topics is the perfect introduction to helping you care for your woods. Written in non-technical language and featuring real-life stories from landowners. Request your free copy here.