From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees comes a remarkable treatise on the ancient bond between humans and nature. A powerful return to the forest, where trees have heartbeats and roots are like brains that extend underground. Where the colour green calms us, and the forest sharpens our senses.
In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world.In an era of cell phone addiction, climate change, and urban life, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature – but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. Drawing on science and cutting-edge research, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants, and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna.
A perfect book to take with you into the woods, The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest. Peter Wohlleben, renowned for his ability to write about trees in an engaging and moving way, reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are a part of nature, and where conservation and environmental activism is not just about saving trees – it’s about saving ourselves, too.
Originally published in German in 2019 as Das geheime Band zwischen Mensch und Natur: Erstaunliche Erkentnisse übe die 7 Sinne des Menschen, den Herzschlag der Bäume und die Frage, ob Pflanzen ein Bewusstsein haben.
Peter Wohlleben is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees and its follow-ups The Inner Life of Animals and The Secret Network of Nature. He is also the author of books for children including Can You Hear the Trees Talking? and Peter and the Tree Children. When he’s not writing, Wohlleben manages a sustainable forest and runs a forest academy where he lives in Germany.
"A simultaneously stimulating and soothing blend of nature writing and science"
"Wohlleben confronts [climate change] directly. He is trenchant in his critique of tree plantations and wood-pellet-power plants, which claim to help the climate but, he argues, end up destabilizing it further"
– New Yorker
"It's hard to dispute the book's overall message; namely, that time spent in nature can serve as both a balm for anxiety and a bulwark against despair"
– Globe and Mail
"[A] detailed, easy-to-read summary of what research has shown us about "the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants, and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna.' In this excellent and updated sequel to his The Hidden Life of Trees, [...] Wohlleben writes beautifully about the reciprocal bonds we can form with trees and all sorts of nature."
– Psychology Today
"Drawing on scientific evidence and his many years of experience, [Peter Wohlleben] extolls the wonders of the forest. A persuasive invitation to get outside and bathe in nature, perfect for tree huggers and fans of the author's other books."
– Kirkus Reviews
"[An] eclectic look at humanity's relationships with trees [...] Nature-minded readers will enjoy this episodic deep dive."
– Publishers Weekly
"A return to the wonders of trees. [Wohlleben] presents the latest scientific findings illuminating how trees communicate, respond to their surroundings, and feel pain, and how their pumping of water at regular intervals creates 'heartbeats' [...] . and elucidates precisely why 'true forests' are 'our most powerful allies in the fight against climate change.'"
"[The Heartbeat of Trees] showcases the interconnectedness of humans and nature [...] Wohlleben takes a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating history, science, medicine, and mysticism. He balances poetic descriptions with analytical thoughts; beauty is at the heart of both. The result is a text that is full of wonder and insatiable curiosity, and that invites love for humanity and the natural world."
– Foreword Reviews
"[Like] a walk in the woods [...] [Wohlleben] urges hope, not despair, about our environmental malaise. [The Heartbeat of Trees] will appeal to fans of popular science and anyone curious about natural history."
– Library Journal
"As human beings, we're desperate to feel that we're not alone in the universe. And yet we are surrounded by an ongoing conversation that we can sense if, as Peter Wohlleben so movingly prescribes, we listen to the heartbeat of all life."
– Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods
"Astonishment after astonishment – that is the great gift of The Heartbeat of Trees. It is both a celebration of the wonders of trees, and a howl of outrage at how recklessly we profane them."
– Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth's Wild Music
"As Peter Wohlleben reminds us in The Heartbeat of Trees, trees are the vocabulary of nature as forests are the brainbank of a living planet. This was the codex of the ancient world, and it must be the fine focus of our future."
– Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of To Speak for the Trees and The Global Forest
"Peter Wohlleben knows the battle that lies before us: forging a closer relationship with nature before we destroy it. In The Heartbeat of Trees he takes us deep into the global forest to show us how."
– Jim Robbins, author of The Man Who Planted Trees