Ecosystems provide important services that can help people adapt to climate variability and change. Recognizing this role of ecosystems, several international and nongovernmental organizations have promoted an ecosystem-based approach to adaptation. We review the scientific literature related to EbA (ecosystem-based adaptation) with forests and trees, and highlight five cases in which forests and trees can support adaptation: (1) forests and trees providing goods to local communities facing climatic threats; (2) trees in agricultural fields regulating water, soil, and microclimate for more resilient production; (3) forested watersheds regulating water and protecting soils for reduced climate impacts; (4) forests protecting coastal areas from climate-related threats; and (5) urban forests and trees regulating temperature and water for resilient cities. The literature provides evidence that ecosystem-based adaptation with forests and trees can reduce social vulnerability to climate hazards; however, uncertainties and knowledge gaps remain, particularly for regulating services in watersheds and coastal areas. Few studies have been undertake non ecosystem-based adaptation specifically, but the abundant literature on ecosystem services can be used to fill knowledge gaps. Many studies assess the multiple benefits of ecosystems for human adaptation or well-being, but also recognize trade-offs between ecosystem services. Better understanding is needed of the efficiency, costs, and benefits, and trade-offs of ecosystem-based adaptation with forests and trees. Pilot projects under implementation could serve as learning sites and existing information could be systematized and revisited with a climate change adaptation lens.