In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware.
Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
After a walk through the woods with Wohlleben, you’ll never look at trees the same way again.
About the author
Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally-friendly woodland, where he works for the return of primeval forests. He is the author of numerous books about trees.
‘Marvellous’ John Banville, Irish Times
‘The Hidden Life of Trees is a wonderful, provocative book that draws together half a century of much-neglected and misunderstood plant science and frames it within field observations by an acute and empathetic forester.’ New Statesman
‘Shafts of light and mossy greens fill The Hidden Life of Trees. The reader does not leave the forest, and this aura intensifies the awareness of intricate natural life that the book has to offer. So much is happening in this one place. The colours, airs and sounds are all connected. They give us contact with the invisible world we now know to be there.’ Guardian
‘The matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers and talk-show audiences alike with the news long known to biologists that trees in the forest are social beings.’ The New York Times
‘Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees breaks entirely new ground … [Wohlleben] has listened to trees and decoded their language. Now he speaks for them.’ Thomas Pakenham, New York Review of Books
‘A declaration of love and an engrossing primer on trees, brimming with facts and an unashamed awe for nature.’ Washington Post
‘A magical book about fixtures that we walk by every day and take for granted … The Hidden Life of Trees may be the most important environmental book of the year.’ San Francisco Chronicle