The idea of decorating an evergreen tree as part of winter solstice celebrations comes from many lands and cultures. Coniferous trees have needle-like leaves and produce cones. These trees do not lose their needles in the fall. The needles drop off a little at a time during the year, especially in late summer. Although the trees remain green, they are not growing in the wintertime.
Plants that remain green in the winter remind us that spring will return, and once again the land will be lush and productive.
Flatt, Lizann, Life in a Forestry Community (Learn About Rural Life), Crabtree, 2009. (Grades 4-6)
Overview of what it's like to live in a rural community that depends on the forestry industry. Includes an index, glossary and bibliography, including web sites.
Kirkland, Jane, Take a Tree Walk (Take a Walk Series), Stillwater, 2002. (Grades 4-6)
Exploring the world of trees on foot, children learn to identify different species and various parts of a tree, why trees turn colors in autumn, how to estimate the height and age of a tree, what trees need to survive and the important role trees play in our lives.
Leavell, Chuck, and Nicholas Cravotta, The Tree Farmer, VSP, 2005.
A grandfather who owns a tree farm takes his grandson on a magical journey through the forest, where trees become musical intruments, books, a baby's crib and more. The story explains the vital role that trees play in our lives, providing us with the wood for our homes, furniture and other products, and mankind's responsibility to protect and care for them.
Marshall, Pam, From Tree to Paper, Lerner, 2002. (Grades PreK-3)
Early reader book that begins with replanting a forest to foster the concept of trees as a renewable resource. Excellent photos depict modern production and processing from tree to paper. Includes a glossary.
Muldrow, Diane, and Bob Staake, We Planted a Tree, Golden, 2010. (Grades PreK-4)
A family in Brooklyn plants a tree; turn the page and a Kenyan family plants a tree on the bare African savanna. A poem about the wondrous benefits of trees. Trees provide shade, help clean the air and provide food for many. Illustrations take readers around the globe with scenes from Paris, Tokyo and elsewhere.
Nivola, Claire A., Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. (Grades 4-6)
Kenyan activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai encourages people to repair their economy, land and health by planting more trees. Tracking forward from Maathai's childhood to the rich landscape of Kenya's highlands, the words and pictures show how Maathai's deep connection with nature as a youth inspired her to develop sustainable practices as an adult.
Pfeffer, Wendy, and Robin Brickman, A Log's Life, Aladdin, 2007. (Grades K-3)
After an oak tree falls in the forest, it has another life as home to a variety of creatures. As it decays over time, it provides food and shelter to porcupines, ants, mushrooms, salamanders, and many others, until it eventually turns into a mound of rich black earth. Very young children love spotting the animals as they learn about the life cycle of a tree. Full color.
Purmell, Ann, Christmas Tree Farm, Holiday House, 2006. (Grades 2-6)
A comprehensive look at Christmas tree farming that examines the production and marketing of Christmas trees. It begins with harvest on a family-owned Christmas tree farm but progresses to planting tree seedlings in the spring. It includes tree trimming and examines the benefits of tree farming to wildlife.