Tree Alphabet / Katie Holten

A while back, we wrote about artist Katie Holten’s remarkable book About Trees, an anthology of writing and art about trees, each selection accompanied by its translation into the Tree Alphabet she created. (Every letter of the alphabet corresponds to a specific species of tree.)

Holten has since become one of the first artists-in-residency with New York City Parks, “to explore the intersection of art, urban ecology, sustainability, nature, and design.”  She developed a new Tree Alphabet based on the city’s trees to let us “translate our words into something beyond us,” she told Fast Company. “It forces us to slow down and think about what we’re writing, or reading.”

Katie Holten

Writes Holten:

Everyone is invited to download the free font, NYC Trees, and to write words, poems, messages, or love letters, in Trees. We’ll select some of these messages to plant with real trees around the city. JOIN US!

>>You can create messages immediately by going to the webpage and typing in your words; it will translate them instantly into “tree”.  Here’s “I love you”:

“I love you” in Katie Holten’s tree font


Holten transformed a Mary Oliver fragment:


Katy Holten




Download Holten’s original tree typeface here.   Download the New York City tree font here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

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