Books about trees and tree care

My friends at ArborScape tree service were at the Colorado ISA’s tree climbing championships at Washington Park last weekend and it got me brainstorming about some great books about trees including caring for them, appreciating them and the pseudo-scientific books meant to shoot to the top of the Amazon best sellers list. So here are some recommended tree books.

The Hidden life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

A forester creates a thesis that trees are social animals and thrive off of interactions albeit at times scales 100 times slower than those of human cultures. Strikingly, he develops a case that tree groups live as families. As in all ground breaking research, it’s important to allow your imagination more leeway than your rational mind. 

The Tree Identification Book by George W.D Symonds. 

The system in this book demonstrates tree identification using clear and intuitive methods. Visual comparisons show how to identify details that are alike and associate a subject tree, first with a family or genus. Then in the second section, pictures are used to help narrow down to the species. 

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees: Western Edition by Ebert L. Little. 

Contains 933 picture of trees native to the west including our Colorado home. Contains numerous native trees along with cultivated tree species. 

Modern Arboriculture by Dr. Alex Shigo

Dives deep into tree health, biology, and proper tree pruning. Very in-depth science and a love of trees went into the writing of this book, making it a great resource.

The Tree Doctor: A Guide to Tree Care and Maintenance by Daniel and Erin Prendergast

The Tree Doctor is chock full of pictures and easy to understand text illustrating tree care techniques including,

  • maintenance
  • trimming, common insects and fungus
  • disease prevention
  • watering techniques
  • proper planting methods
  • species selection for your climate zone.

This tree care guide is perfect for amateur an arborist in a suburban or urban location. 

American Canopy: Trees, Forests and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutcow

From Amazon – “This fascinating and groundbreaking work tells the remarkable story of the relationship between Americans and their trees across the entire span of our nation’s history.

Eric Rutkow’s “deeply fascinating” (The Boston Globe) work shows how trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country’s rise as both an empire and a civilization. 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.”

No matter what your interests this list should cover it. Besides running the bookstore and Book Driver I also work in the tree care industry in Colorado. here, most trees are cultivated and in caring for them I always first seek to educate about how dry the soil is compared to most parts of the world.  The first thing to ask if your tree is dying is, does it get enough water in winter. Here is an article about it.  

There are a number of websites and blog which can be valuable to your local area.