Arbor Day Celebration in Illinois 2021

By Mary Simon

April 30, 2021 is the official date in IL for Arbor Day. Communities around the globe gather every year to celebrate trees and plant for a greener tomorrow. While most holidays celebrate something that has already happened and is worth remembering, Arbor Day represents a hope for the future. The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow to provide us with clean air and water, cooling shade, habitat for wildlife, healthier communities, and endless natural beauty—all for a better tomorrow. My list explores resources available for us to celebrate and cherish the beauty and wonder that is a tree.

  • The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature

    2012 by Haskell, David George

    Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards. He explores forests as a window onto the entire natural world.

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  • Forest Bathing: The Rejuvenating Practice of Shinrin Yoku

    2020 by García, Héctor

    There are now so many good books on forest bathing that it is difficult to make a best of selection. So. . . I included several you'll find in the library's catalog.

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  • Forest Bathing: Discovering Health and Happiness through the Japanese Practice of Shinrin Yoku

    2019 by Gilbert, Cyndi

    If you are a newcomer to this phenomenon, take a look at this guide. Full of great ideas, illustrations and important comments, it is sure to give you the confidence to attend to the routine that you really should add to your life.

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  • Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

    2018 by Li, Qing

    This one has more of an emphasis on the tree aspect rather than the self-care human aspect. Delightful and thought-provoking.

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  • A Forest in the City

    2020 by Curtis, Andrea

    This first entry in the narrative nonfiction ThinkCities series provides an informative look at the necessity of trees in urban environments for young adults. It includes histories of events that affected trees, such as settler colonialism and industrialization, as well as sharing information about root systems, how city trees differ from their wild counterparts, and how environmental factors affect trees’ life spans.

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  • The Hidden Forest: The Biography of an Ecosystem

    1999 by Luoma, Jon R.

    “This may be the single best general-reader introduction to the startling discoveries and developments of recent decades that have come to be called the New Forestry. Luoma is great on the rich, dense, slow, huge, networked processes that make up a robust, fully-functioning, old forest. In particular, he shows how essential death and decay is for continued forest health and how much bearing that has on forest management. Read this to learn how truly social trees are and how complex a forest “superorganism” can be.” —Richard Powers, author of The Overstory

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  • The Hidden Life of Trees: The Illustrated Edition

    2018 by Wohlleben, Peter

    The Illustrated version of this grand book is not to be missed. Anyone beholden to trees and nature - the soothing and calming essence of their being -- will find this book to be transformative.

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  • The Little Book of Forest Bathing: Discovering the Japanese Art of Self-Care


    Very good descriptions of the Japanese Art that has helped thousands of people around the world. Full of good advice and wisdom.

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  • The Overstory: A Novel

    2018 by Powers, Richard

    Yes, this book has touched many folks including producers at Netflix, who plan to produce a series on it in 2022. Before it hits the streaming platforms, read the novel to discover what the producers have discovered. It portrays not just the spiritual magnificence of trees but is an existential story of human beings. To me the book was more about us as fallible human beings with poor judgment.

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  • The Secret Therapy of Trees: Harness the Healing Energy of Forest Bathing and Natural Landscapes

    2019 by Mencagli, Marco

    This book explores the relationship between plants and other organisms and illustrates how to benefit from nature's positive impact on our psychological and physical well-being.This book covers everything you want to know about how nature can help you heal.

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  • The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors

    2017 by Haskell, David George

    Named one of the Best Science Books of 2017 by Science Friday and Brain Pickings, “Haskell champions a kind of ‘ecological aesthetics,’ where we find beauty in connectivity. Haskell sees trees as ‘nature’s great connectors,’ living symbols of the book’s great theme—that life is about relationships. . .we can find salvation in this view of life as a community.” —Ed Yong, The Atlantic

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  • Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape

    2016 by Jonnes, Jill

    A celebration of urban trees and the Americans—presidents, plant explorers, visionaries, citizen activists, scientists, nurserymen, and tree nerds—whose arboreal passions have shaped and ornamented the nation’s cities, from Jefferson’s day to the present.

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  • In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World

    2018 by Oakes, Lauren

    Oakes discovered the resiliency of forgotten forests, flourishing again in the wake of destruction, and a diverse community of people who persevered to create new relationships with the emerging environment. Eloquent, insightful, and deeply heartening, this book is a case for hope in a warming world.

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  • The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring

    2007 by Preston, Richard

    Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing in order to tell his tale. This is the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.

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