Monday, November 21, 2016

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries From a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben

The next time you hear a breeze rustling through the leaves and think you hear whisperings you just may be hearing the trees talking about you with each other! Okay, I exaggerate, but just a little.  Trees in old growth forests do communicate with each other.  They can also taste, hear and see -- just not like we do at all.  And they form relationships, keeping nearby fallen relatives alive for hundreds of years by feeding it nutrients when the stump no longer has leaves and can’t create its own food by way of photosynthesis.

Wohlleben is a forester in Germany (this book has been translated into many languages) and during his time on the job he began to realize that not only were the trees interacting with each other and the other life forms of the forest, but that a lot of what he was told as a forester simply wasn’t right.  Old growth forest is VERY different from new growth forest; our cultivation techniques are basically making the trees mute and forcing them to be loners.

I learned so much reading this book and the writing style was great.  Short chapters allow you to read a bit, put the book down for a while, and then resume reading with nothing lost in between.  If you enjoy walking in the woods be sure to read this one this winter, but not in front of a wood burning stove or fireplace because you’ll just end up feeling guilty.