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Learn More About the Local Coast Redwood Forests

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Many great books have been written about the coast redwoods and the movement to protect them. Here are some of our favorites for adults and for children:

For Adults

Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History by Michael G. Barbour (Ed.), John Evarts (Ed.), Marjorie Popper (Ed.). Cachuma Press, 2001. This handsome book covers the entire range of coast redwood from the Big Sur coast to the southwestern corner of Oregon and offers a comprehensive account of the ecology and human history of earth’s tallest tree.


California Forests and Woodlands: A Natural History by Verna R. Johnston. University of California Press, 1996. Gorgeous illustrations and photographs accompany vivid descriptions of the ecology of each of the state’s dominant forest types, including redwood forests.

Conifers of California by Ronald M. Lanner. Cachuma Press, 1999. An informative natural history and field guide to all of California’s native cone-bearing trees, richly illustrated with original botanical illustrations.

The Redwood Forest: History, Ecology, and Conservation of the Coast Redwoods by Reed F. Noss. Save the Redwoods League, 1999. This book provides powerful scientific evidence arguing for ecosystem-level conservation of the coast redwoods.

Remarkable Trees of the World by Thomas Pakenham. WW Norton, 2002. Stunning photography and descriptions of unique trees, including redwoods, can be enjoyed in this photo essay.

The Sempervirens Story: A Century of Preserving California’s Ancient Redwood Forest, 1900-2000 by Willie Yaryan and Denzil and Jennie Verado. Sempervirens Fund Press, 2000. This book contains many contemporary and archival photographs and is an intimate historical narrative about the Sempervirens Fund and its predecessor organization, Sempervirens Club.

Song of the Redwood Tree by Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass, 1891-2. Poet Walt Whitman sings of redwood forests as he writes about an emerging America after the Civil War.

Wild Trees: a Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston. Random House, 2007. This account is a unique perspective from those who climb the giants and grow to love them and their place in the biosphere.

For Children

The Ever-living Tree, the Life and Times of a Coast Redwood by Linda Vieira. Walker, 1994. The two-thousand-year life story of a redwood tree is chronicled with illustrations by Christopher Canyon.

Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries from Perilous Places by Donna M. Jackson. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. One of the three extreme scientists profiled here is Stephen Sillett, who does research in the canopies of the tallest redwood trees.

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French. Amulet Books, 2009. This book tells the story of Julian Carter-Li and his friends as they race to stop Julian’s uncle and his company from cutting down some of California’s oldest redwood trees.

Redwoods by Jason Chin. Flash Point, 2009. Factual text and imaginative illustrations combine to provide a memorable picture book adventure in the redwood forest.

Welcome to Redwood National and State Parks by M.J. Cosson. The Child’s World, 2007. This photo tour of northern California state and national parks introduces redwood trees in their ecosystem.