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Colorado State Forest Service News

Recommended Reading for National Book Month

“Forestry was a brand-new idea to me. I had no more conception of what it meant to be a forester than the man in the moon. Just what a forester did, since he no longer wore green cap and leather jerkin and shot cloth-yard arrows at the King’s deer, was beyond my ken. But at least a forester worked in the woods and with the woods—and I love the woods and everything about them.”
— Gifford Pinchot, Breaking New Ground

cloudy sky over mountainscape with brightly colored aspen trees covering teh mountainside


Often in October, curling up with a good book sounds like an excellent idea. This is when we begin to notice shorter days and cooler temperatures in Colorado. Frosty mornings may make it more difficult to get out of bed, and cold afternoons and evenings draw us to spend more time indoors, maybe even next to a flickering fire. For some of us, this makes reading a book extra inviting. The National Book Foundation started recognizing October as National Book Month in 2003, and this idea has our seal of approval.

Last year we polled the CSFS work force – foresters, GIS technicians, administrators, photographers – for their favorite books related to trees and forests. Check out these books that have inspired us and made us think.

All ages

The Forest Where Ashley Lives by Mark Vitosh
*This book is available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Truax by Terri Birkett

Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree by Jennifer Blomgren

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate


Breaking New Ground by Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism by Char Miller


A River Runs Through It by Norman McClain

Barkskins by Annie Proulx

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

The Overstory by Richard Powers, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

A Critique of Silviculture: Managing Complexity by Klaus J. Puettmann, K. David Coates and Christian C. Messier

As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock by Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Douglas-fir: The Story of the West’s Most Remarkable Tree by Stephen Arno and Carl Fielder

Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham

Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Silviculture: Concepts and Applications by Ralph Nyland

The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed by John Vaillant

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllebe

The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich

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

Urban Forests – A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape by Jill Jonnes


No matter if you prefer to listen to audiobooks or search for treasures at used bookstores, this list of books about trees and forests is an excellent starting place for a literary journey. Enjoy!