German forester Peter Wohlleben had an unexpected hit with The Hidden Life of Trees, which has sold 437,000 print copies, per NPD BookScan, since its 2016 publication. Another bestselling work of arboreal ardor, Finding the Mother Tree by forest ecology professor Suzanne Simard, pubbed in 2021 and has since sold 87,000 print copies. The subgenre is growing, with forthcoming books that explore the overt and subtle links between trees and climate change.

Ever Green

John W. Reid and Thomas E. Lovejoy. Norton, Mar.

Reid, a conservationist, and the late environmentalist Lovejoy (Biodiversity and Climate Change) cover the essential role that five massive forests, including the Amazon and the Congo, could play in mitigating climate change. “The authors depict the flora and fauna of these far-flung locations in vivid descriptions that chart how each species is part of a vast ecosystem,” PW’s review noted. “This clarion call should have a spot on the shelves of climate-minded readers.”


The Treeline

Ben Rawlence. St. Martin’s, Feb.

Rawlence (City of Thorns) interviews ecologists across Canada, Greenland, Norway, Siberia, and elsewhere to understand why treelines in boreal forests are moving north. “Rawlence’s research leads him to conclude that change is inevitable, and every person—and every tree—must adapt to survive,” PW’s review said. “His awe at the beauty and power of trees is moving. Nature lovers and travelers alike will find this a lovely paean to a rapidly changing landscape.”


Tree Thieves

Lyndsie Bourgon. Little, Brown Spark, June

An oral historian and a journalist for the AtlanticSmithsonian, and others, Bourgon investigates the criminal world of timber poaching and its environmental effects. From “cutting down a small Christmas tree in a park, to the large-scale devastation of entire groves,” Bourgon explains how such theft intersects with the climate crisis. “When old-growth disappears,” she writes, “the foundation from which it grew is destabilized, leaving landscapes more prone to flooding and landslides.”

A Trillion Trees

Fred Pearce. Greystone, May

Journalist Pearce (When the Rivers Run Dry) weaves first-person adventure narrative with climate science, traveling to China, Guyana, Kenya, Paraguay, and beyond to show how, when it comes to forests, “we mess with their life-support systems at our peril.” He writes that leaving forests alone, rather than actively reforesting, may be a better solution. “Given the chance, nature will do much of the work.”

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