A number of years ago, I read a novel of a colony on a world that was covered by dense forest. The native people were human-like but had prehensile toes and lived in the forest canopy layer in villages that were a single tree that recognised them and would allow entry. The natives bond with a semi-sentient "pet" that in a twist at the end turns out to actually be stage of a plant's lifecycle. The humans are destroying forest for commercial gain and one of their ships crashs and is discovered by the natives who have a special bond with their "Home Tree" (no its not Avatar).
One other detail I remember is the fact that the planet's surface is extremely "hostile" and dangerous.
I am trying to find it again but can't remember the book or the author (I seem to recall he/she wrote some Star Trek stories as well)