The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees – What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World

The Hidden Life of Trees (not to be confused with The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge) is a book written by Peter Wohlleben that takes a close look at trees. How do they live? Are they socialable? Do they feel pain? Peter shares his love for forests, woods and trees and goes in to the scientific processes of them. Their life, death, families, friends and how they communicate.

Peter Wohlleben

Peter Wohlleben

Image Credit: Stefan Finger/laif/Redux

Peter Wohlleben is a German forester that has been working with trees all of his life. He graduated from forestry school and then went on to hold the governmental position of wood ranger in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1987.
He is an author that began writing about his views on forest management and ecology in 2007. He has since written many novels including The Inner Life of Animals and The Secret Wisdom of Nature. The Hidden Life Of Trees remains his most popular work.

Wood Wide Web

One of the subjects Wohlleben talks about is the Wood Wide Web. Underneath the ground, there is a complicated system of roots, bacteria and fungi that are all connected together. A whole forest can be linked together and communicating, right under our feet.
Trees are able to transfer water, carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients between each other. If there is a tree that is not getting enough water because of where it is located, trees it’s connected to will know this and transfer water to help it survive.
In fact, when a tree has been cut down and there is nothing but a stump left, sometimes other trees keep it alive by giving it the nutrients it needs. The stump has no way to feed it self and would die on it’s own; however, using the Wood Wide Web, it can survive for years.

No More Spoilers

The Wood Wide Web is just one of many things Wohlleben covers in The Hidden Life of Trees. It is a fascinating read and I would hate to give too much away before you get to read it yourself!
Some things Wohlleben discusses are: Do trees have friendships? Can trees tell if other trees are a part of their family? Do they communicate and what is the language of trees? Can trees love? Do trees behave differently in groups then they do alone? Do trees hibernate?
Whether you have any interest in trees or not (I didn’t before reading The Hidden Life if Trees), this is a fascinating read written by a delightful man that has a deep love and knowledge for trees and foresting.

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