Canopy’s ultimate reading list: Photo Books

By Canopy Team on May 6, 2022

Immerse yourself in these stunning collections of tree portraits seen through the lenses of arborists, ecologists, artists, and photographers from around the world.

Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham

A collection of sixty tree portraits – from around the world! Pakenham embarked on a five-year odyssey to most of the temperate and tropical regions of the world to catalog a range of trees: Dwarfs, Giants, Monuments, and Aliens.

Buy it

Meetings with Remarkable Trees by Thomas Pakenham

A collection of sixty tree portraits grouped according to their own strong personalities: Natives, Travellers, Shrines, Fantasies and Survivors. This book is lovingly researched and beautifully illustrated to inspire wonder and awe.

See also the BBC series of the same name.

Buy it

Forest: A Journey Through Wild and Magnificent Landscapes by Matt Collins

Discover the secrets hidden within the Earth’s lush woodlands and wild landscapes through photographs and stories about enchanting forests, magnificent trees, and people who live off the land.

Buy it

Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

If there is, indeed, nothing lovelier than a tree, Connecticut-based artist Gill shows us why. Creating large-scale relief prints from the cross-sections of trees, the artist reveals the sublime power locked inside their arboreal rings.

Buy it

Trees and How They Work by Olavi Huikari

In this beautiful pocket book, illustrated with rare old engravings and specially commissioned drawings, renowned Finnish tree expert Huikari takes us on an unforgettable journey deep into the secrets of these most huge and majestic of life forms.

Buy it

Conversations with Trees: An Intimate Ecology by Stephanie Kaza

Meditations on the beauty, fragility, and resilience of trees, with 27 original lithographs. In an era of species extinction and worsening climate change, this book is a warm and earnest invitation to personal and ecological sanity.

Buy it

Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest by Jim Balog and David Friend

The format is more modest, but the visual splendor is as huge as ever. This miniature Tree offers James Balog’s groundbreaking portraits in a smaller but equally beautiful format, with three gatefolds. Makes a great gift!

Buy it

Where to find these books:

  1. The library: Visiting the local library is our favorite way to support a community institution and promoting reuse rather than new production of trees into paper.
  2. Second-hand bookstore: Can’t find these at your library but want to support a local business? Find a used bookstore and help give these pre-owned paperbacks new life.
  3. Local bookstore: Okay, okay. My library doesn’t own this book and the used bookstore doesn’t have it in stock – what now? With many of the recommendations, we’ve linked to the book on the Books Inc. website, an independently owned and operated bookseller with 10 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and a history dating back to the Gold Rush Days of 1851.

Happy reading!

Other topics in this series: Plant wisdom, Black History Month, California edition, Earth Month, National Field Guides, Narrative books

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