Want to learn more about forests and forest conservation? Check out this list of books, videos, and websites compiled by the TREE Foundation. Also be sure to stop by our Forest Facts page. 

Life in the Treetops: 

The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us by Meg Lowman. Read an exhilarating, illustrated memoir detailing four decades of Meg Lowman’s explorations of the vast abundance of life found in forest canopies.

Adventures of a Woman in Field Biology by Meg Lowman. Canopy biologist and forest advocate Meg Lowman’s professional and personal journey to a life in the treetops.

It’s a Jungle Up There: More Tales from the Treetops by Meg Lowman, Edward Burgess, and James Burgess. Read about how Meg’s career in forest canopy research has influenced her children, and how they have in turn changed her career.

Muddy Boots: Essays of a Field Biologist by Meg Lowman. Explore stories of natural wonder from Meg’s journeys around the world.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben. The incredible ways in which trees communicate and rely on each other for survival.

The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David Haskell. Haskell observes a single square meter patch of Tennessee old-growth forest for an entire year, illuminating the hidden complexity of forest ecosystems. 

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors by David Haskell. Discover amazing linkages between trees, humans, and other organisms.

The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter by Colin Trudge. A beautiful book about everything that makes trees wonderful.

Nature’s Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests by Joan Maloof. Learn about why old-growth forests are so important for nature and humans. 

In the Rainforest: Report from a Strange, Beautiful, Imperiled World by Catherine Caufield. Cuafield explores the beauty and wonder of the rainforest in the mid-1980s and documents the threats they face.

The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rainforest Canopy by Mark Moffett. Discover the extraordinary and largely unexplored world of the rainforest canopy.

Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo. Learn the hidden life stories of trees, including in-depth portraits of common species near you. 

Explorama’s Amazon: A Journey Through The Rainforest Of Peru by James Castner. 

National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. A perfect guide to identifying trees in your area.

A Neotropical Companion: An Introduction to the Animals, Plants, and Ecosystems of the New World Tropics by John C. Kricher. A guide to the geography, ecology, and conservation issues of the tropics of the Americas.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. A haunting account of the extinction crisis our planet faces.

Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life by Edward O. Wilson. A beautifully written book about the planet’s biodiversity and how we can save it.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells. A sobering read about the devastating consequences of climate change—and why we must act now to avoid them. 

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein. Learn about the inextricable links between capitalism and climate change.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawkins. A meticulously-researched plan to stabilize the climate. 

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It by Anna Lappé. Read about the intersection between climate change and the food system.


Biodiversity by Edward O. Wilson (Editor), National Academy of Sciences, Frances M. Peter, Smithsonian Institution. This book explores the biodiversity crisis, analyzes causes, and proposes solutions.

Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm by Isabella Tree. A couple transforms their farm into a natural area and witnesses biodiversity return.

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy. Read about how your yard can become a place for wildlife to thrive.

The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger. A series of lyrical essays about the wonders of forests and why we must save them.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams. Read about the many benefits that nature has on our physical and mental health.  

Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature by M. Amos Clifford. Learn how a mindful sojourns in nature can improve your health and well-being.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. Children are spending less and less time in nature—and the consequences are detrimental to everyone.

How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature by Scott Sampson. A guide to raising children to love nature. 

Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children by Angela Hanscom. The benefits of outdoor play on children’s health. 

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston. A book about the world’s tallest trees and those who climb them.

The Mountains of California by John Muir. An account of Muir’s visits to numerous mountain wilderness areas in California.

Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest by Mark Plotkin. The adventure of a scientist attempting to document indigenous medicinal knowledge before it disappears.

Life Above the Jungle Floor: A Biologist Explores a Strange and Hidden Treetop World by Donald Perry. Read about a Perry’s 1980’s adventures in the emerging science of rainforest canopy biology.

The Enchanted Canopy: A Journey of Discovery to the Last Unexplored Frontier, the Roof of the World’s Rainforests by Andrew W. Mitchell.

American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow. A book about the fascinating role of trees in the historical development of the United States. 

Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape by Jill Jonnes. A book about the history and promise of trees in urban areas.

Wise Trees by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel. A stunning collection of photos and stories of some of the world’s most historically significant trees.

The Overstory by Richard Powers. This fiction work is epic in scope and deeply moving. It will change the way you think about our relationship to the natural world.

Barkskins by Annie Proulx. This epic adventure novel spans centuries of American history, emphasizing how unsustainable harvesting of the country’s seemingly endless forests led to many of the environmental problems we now face. 

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin. This cerebral science fiction novel about the conquest of a forest planet plays with ideas about colonialism, cultural exchange, and human nature that are relevant to today’s world.

Our Planet documentary series (Netflix). Available on Netflix and youtube. In particular, check out the “Jungles” and “Forests” episodes.

Planet Earth II documentary series (BBC). There are episodes on islands, mountains, and jungles, as well as other ecosystems. The original Planet Earth series, also by the BBC, has episodes on forests as well.

Life documentary series (BBC). This series has episodes on the various life forms on our planet and their struggles to survive. 

Call of Life. This documentary explores the global loss of biodiversity and the way in which economic, cultural, and ideological systems contribute to ecosystem destruction.

Virunga. A documentary covering the a war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its effects on Virunga National Park, the last haven for mountain gorillas and a highly biodiverse ecosystem. 

Heroes of the High Frontier. National Geographic Society 1999. This documentary follows researchers as they explore the hidden world of rainforest canopies.

Nature on PBS. Weekly television series on nature topics. Wednesdays at 8/7 central on PBS.

Medicine Man. This 1992 adventure romance is set in the Amazon rainforest and has a strong conservation message.

The White Diamond. This 2004 documentary film by Werner Herzog about one aviator’s attempt to build an airship and fly it above the rainforest canopies of Guyana.

BBC Earth youtube channel

National Geographic youtube channel

Nature on PBS youtube channel

 The State of the World’s Forests 2020 report summary by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Or read the In Brief or the full report for more information on the state of the world’s forests.

https://rainforests.mongabay.com/ A comprehensive overview of rainforests. It includes summaries as well as in-depth information on multiple topics, including rainforest ecology, rainforest people, rainforest threats, and solutions to rainforest threats.

https://www.mongabay.com/ Excellent source for conservation news and discussion.

Check out our forest facts page!

Tips for finding resources and places to learn more

There are many ways to learn about forests and the natural world. Books, documentaries, and online articles and websites like the ones listed below are a great place to start. To stay up-to-date on forest conservation issues, follow the social media feeds of forest nonprofit organizations and other entities involved in forest conservation. Though most internet resources are not trying to deceive you, it is a good practice to make sure the information you are reading comes from a reliable source. Of course, the best way to learn about nature is to experience it directly—so take a visit to your local park or forest!

Created by Evan Wright on July 26, 2020