271 pages, no illustrations
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.
"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."
– Sally McGrane, The New York Times
"If you read this book, I believe that forests will become magical places for you, too."
– Tim Flannery
"Peter Wohlleben is a generous and knowledgeable guide into this fascinating and complex secret world hidden in plain sight. The Hidden Life of Trees is a powerful reminder to slow down and tune into the language of nature."
– Rachel Sussman, author of The Oldest Living Things in the World
"Charming, provocative, fascinating. In the tradition of Jean-Henri Fabre and other great naturalist story-tellers, Wohlleben relates imaginative, enthralling tales of ecology."
– David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen, Pulitzer finalist
"Wohlleben s book is at once romantic and scientific, beautifully articulating his personal relationship with the trees he has dedicated his life to. His 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
"With colorful and engaging descriptions of little-known phenomena in our natural world, Wohlleben helps readers appreciate the exciting processes at work in the forests around them."
– Dr. Richard Karban, University of California, Davis, author of Plant Sensing and Communication
"You will never look at a tree the same way after reading Peter Wohlleben's The Hidden Life of Trees, which reveals the mind-boggling properties and behavior of these terrestrial giants. Read this electrifying book, then go out and hug a treewith admiration and gratitude."
– David Suzuki
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After studying forestry, Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission. He left to put his ideas of ecology into practice, and he now runs an environmentally friendly woodland in Huemmel, Germany, where he promotes the return of ancient, sustainability managed forests.