Community Read 2022

three books on the ground outside at the base of a tree with fall leaves underneath

Listening to Trees

In 2022, we encouraged our Community Readers to explore the concept of trees as nature’s great connectors.

What would a tree tell us if we just took the time to listen? Trees represent growth, peace, and nature while teaching us how to plant deep roots and reach for the sky. They also may help us gain insight into ourselves and our place in the world.

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors

By David George Haskell

“Both a love song to trees, an exploration of their biology, and a wonderfully philosophical analysis of their role they play in human history and in modern culture.”
—Science Friday

Journey with David Haskell as he repeatedly visits a dozen trees in cities from Manhattan to Jerusalem, forests (Amazonian, North American, and boreal) and areas on the front lines of environmental change, including eroding coastlines, burned mountainsides, and war zones. In each place he shows how human history, ecology, and well-being are intimately intertwined with the lives of trees.

Scientific, lyrical, and contemplative, The Songs of Trees reveals the biological connections that underpin all life. In a world beset by barriers, Haskell reminds us that life’s substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence.

Visit our Community Read StoryMap to explore the many connections between the trees Haskell visits in his book and Longwood’s trees.

We Planted a Tree

By Diane Muldrow
Illustrated by Bob Staake

In this poetic picture book with environmental themes and illustrated by award-winning artist Bob Staake, two young families in two very different parts of the world each plant a tree.

As the trees flourish, so do the families . . . while trees all over the world help clean the air, enrich the soil, and give fruit and shade.

With a nod to Kenya’s successful Green Belt Movement, Muldrow’s elegant text celebrates the life and hope that every tree—from Paris to Brooklyn to Tokyo—brings to our planet.

Canopy Career Chronicles

By the team at the Morton Arboretum (Illinois)

This engaging graphic novel follows the stories of eight people pursuing careers caring for and protecting trees. Each character's journey takes a different path, highlighting the skills, experiences, and inspirations of this diverse field of professionals. Learn more.