“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
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.
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!