The Hidden Life of Trees
What They Feel, How They Communicate : Discoveries From A Secret WorldBook - 2016
A New York Times bestseller
With more than 2 million copies sold worldwide, this beautifully-written book journeys deep into the forest to uncover the fascinating--and surprisingly moving--hidden life of trees.
?At once romantic and scientific, [Wohlleben's] view of the forest calls on us all to reevaluate our relationships with the plant world.??Daniel Chamovitz, PhD, author of What a Plant Knows
Are trees social beings? In The Hidden Life of Trees forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.
Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard
Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute
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From Library Staff
LPL_ShirleyB Apr 30, 2020
While grounded in the author’s German forest, everyone who aspires to become more familiar with local natural habitats will benefit reading this accessible science writing. And gain a wider perspective beyond our human-centric view of the Earth—to think of ecological interdependence in centuries-... Read More »
LPL_ShirleyB Feb 18, 2020
Recommended by Lisa
LPL_ShirleyB Dec 09, 2019
Recommended by Jim
LPL_JillM Mar 09, 2018
Who knew how much complexity and variety there is in the life of a tree?! I learned so much reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben; now I want to take a walk in the woods to see what stories I can find by observing the trees. Growth pattern, tree groupings, and the subtleties of the ... Read More »
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
From Ch 8 Tree School, p. 44, 45
...In the years to come, the spruce will try to repair the wound, but the tear keeps reopening. From some distance away, you can see a black channel streaked with pitch that bears witness to this painful process.
And with that, we have arrived at the heart of tree school. Unfortunately, this is a place where a certain amount of physical punishment is still the order of the day, for Nature is a strict teacher. If a tree does not pay attention and do what it's told, it will suffer...From then on, it will do a better job of rationing water instead of pumping whatever is available out of the ground as soon as spring hits without giving a second thought to waste. The tree takes the lesson to heart, and from then on it will stick with this new, thrifty behavior, even when the ground has plenty of moisture-after all, you never know!
Whether they are thick or thin, all members of the same species are using light to produce the same amount of sugar per leaf. This equalization is taking place underground through the roots. There's obviously a lively exchange going on down there. Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets help. Once again, fungi are involved. Their enormous networks act as gigantic redistribution mechanisms. It's a bit like the way social security systems operate to ensure individual members of society don't fall too far behind. p.15-6
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I had to wait for a long time for this book, so I felt a little compelled to read the whole thing. I didn't though; certainly no reflection on its value, but rather on my interest in the subject. It was written by a man who obviously knows a great deal and cares deeply about trees and forests. He delivered information in an anthropomorphic manner, talking about trees taking care of their offspring, warning other trees about predators, being lonely if they are the only one of their kind, etc. The approach was very charming and I was amazed at their communication with each other and social interdependency. Nevertheless, I gave myself permission to close the book about half way through. Maybe because the idea that trees are living beings, sentient in their own way, was not alien to me in the first place. Maybe because there are a number of other books on my shelf that I am eager to get into.
So, I did go back and finish it. My ultimate assessment is that there is much scientific information about trees -- too much for me to remember. What I took away is the trees are not that different from animals (and humans).
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