The best books on allergy-friendly landscapes

Thomas Leo Ogren Author Of The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping
By Thomas Leo Ogren

Who am I?

I am now considered by many as the expert on creating allergy-free and allergy-friendly gardens and landscapes. I have lectured on the subject all across the US and Canada, and also in Israel, Ireland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. For 30+ years now I’ve been researching the connections between urban landscaping and allergies and asthma. My articles have appeared in dozens of fine publications, including The New York Times, The London Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, Scientific American, Der Spiegel, and The New Scientist. I have owned two nurseries and taught horticulture for twenty years. 


I wrote...

The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping

By Thomas Leo Ogren,

Book cover of The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping

What is my book about?

Many allergies (and asthma) are homegrown…caused by plants growing right in your own yards. Learn which choices are the most allergy-free, and which are the worst. Thousands of trees, grasses, ground covers, vines, and shrubs are included…and all are ranked 1-10 (where 1 is the best, and 10 is the worst, the most allergenic. Used by hundreds of cities worldwide.

The books I picked & why

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Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health

By Walter H. Lewis, Memory P. F. Elvin-Lewis,

Book cover of Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health

Why this book?

This is the best book on medical botany. The authors are both top experts on biology and botany, and among his peers in biology, Walter H. Lewis is known as the medical botanist. Just packed with interesting, useful information not found anywhere else. Widely used as a university textbook for medical botany…but extremely readable. Highly recommended!

Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health

By Walter H. Lewis, Memory P. F. Elvin-Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Medical Botany as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Plants as Medicine.... A Natural Approach to Self-Health Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man?s Health, Walter H. Lewis, Memory P.F. Elvin-Lewis

Medical Botany is a fascinating look at the facts and fictions surrounding plants and man?not only which plants affect our bodies, but how they affect them. Authoritative, rich in anecdote and lore, lavishly illustrated, this encyclopedic reference brings within your reach the curative, healing, poisonous, allergenic, and psychoactive properties of thousands of plants. Its ready reference format allows you to turn instantly to information about a specific plant?s properties, its history, its use in orthodox medicine (where applicable) and its…


Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

By Matilda van den Bosch (editor), William Bird (editor),

Book cover of Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

Why this book?

Edited by Matilda van den Bosch and William Bird, Nature and Public Health. Each chapter was written by several top experts in the field. There were more than a hundred different experts chosen to write sections of this fine book, selected from all around the world of health, botany, horticulture, urban forestry, urban affairs, and the environment. Nature (or the lack of it) is closely aligned with human health, and this wonderful book explores the subject like no other.

Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health

By Matilda van den Bosch (editor), William Bird (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Human beings have always been affected by their surroundings. There are various health benefits linked to being able to access to nature; including increased physical activity, stress recovery, and the stimulation of child cognitive development. The Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health provides a broad and inclusive picture of the relationship between our own health and the natural environment. All aspects of this unique relationship are covered,
ranging from disease prevention through physical activity in green spaces to innovative ecosystem services, such as climate change adaptation by urban trees. Potential hazardous consequences are also discussed including natural disasters, vector-borne…


Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America

By Walter H. Lewis, Prathibha Vinay, Vincent E. Zenger

Book cover of Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America

Why this book?

Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America was the most important book I read (out of hundreds) when I was doing my original research for my own book. The material is extensive, accurate, scientific, and yet it is quite readable. Unlike so many other books, papers, or articles on pollen and allergy, this book takes into consideration all of the plants grown in North America, not just the trees. A classic, and yet, still the very best.

Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America

By Walter H. Lewis, Prathibha Vinay, Vincent E. Zenger

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quarto, Silver Lettered And decorated Green Cloth, PP.254, B & W Specimen Photos, Color Photo Plates, Distribution Maps


A Natural History of Western Trees

By Donald Culross Peattie, Paul Landacre,

Book cover of A Natural History of Western Trees

Why this book?

I own hundreds of books on plants and trees. The two finest books written on American trees were both written by Donald Culross Peattie. His book on Western trees is amazing. When he looks at and writes about a particular tree, he mentions everything about it. What it looks like, where it grows, how big it gets, what it is used for, what animals, birds, insects use this tree. He also mentions in detail how it flowers, sets seeds, grows….he misses next to nothing. Totally recommended! 

A Natural History of Western Trees

By Donald Culross Peattie, Paul Landacre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Natural History of Western Trees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lovely reprint of Peattie's 1950 classic with the fine wood engravings and a new (4 page) introduction by Robert Finch. This editio printed on alkaline paper. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.


A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America

By Donald Culross Peattie, Paul Landacre (illustrator),

Book cover of A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America

Why this book?

A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America by author and naturalist Donald Culross Peattie is probably the very best book on trees that I have ever read. I used this book (and also his book on Western trees) as a marvelous resource when I was working on my books. 

I learned many a new thing from this book, things I could not find in books written by botanists or horticulturists. This in large part is because Peattie was first and foremost, a naturalist. He tells the reader things that others didn’t bother to mention (for example, that with Honeylocust trees, each branch is of only one sex). The author also has a wonderful way of writing that makes the text come alive…always interesting.  As a naturalist, Peattie looks at the whole picture; one of the few writers about trees who was also a dedicated ecologist. A great book!

A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America

By Donald Culross Peattie, Paul Landacre (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gives the economic facts regarding the trees of northeastern North America and identifies a wide variety of species


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in trees, North America, and botany?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about trees, North America, and botany.

Trees Explore 39 books about trees
North America Explore 51 books about North America
Botany Explore 23 books about botany

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Overstory, The Hidden Life of Trees, and Can You Hear the Trees Talking? Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest if you like this list.