Are trees social beings? In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network.
He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
After you have read The Hidden Life of Trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.
‘Opening this book, you are about to enter a wonderland.’ —Tim Flannery, author of Atmosphere of Hope and The Weather Makers
‘Charming, provocative, fascinating.’ —David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen, Pulitzer finalist
‘In this spirited exploration, [Wohlleben] guarantees that readers will never look at these life forms in quite the same way again.’ —Library Journal
‘The Hidden Life of Trees delivers clear, substantiated examples of ways trees not only adapt but teach, learn and help each other out. Wohlleben takes pains to make clear that the care trees demonstrate toward one another goes beyond a survival mechanism.’ —Readings
‘Chattily engaging ... its quips and contagious puns invite the reader into the minutiae of trees’ lives.’ —Felicity Plunkett, Weekend Australia
‘Wohlleben might be an incarnation of the Lorax, that mythical Seussian creature who speaks for the trees. But he speaks, too, for a host of researchers worldwide, bringing their findings to a wider audience with passion and generosity.’ —Ashley Hay, Sydney Morning Herald
‘Scientific research … underpins all his vivid descriptions … in Wohlleben’s analysis, it’s almost as if trees have feelings and character.’ – Tim Lusher, Guardian Australia
‘You cannot read this book and walk through the bush the same way again. It changes your thinking forever.’ —Kathleen Noonan, Courier Mail
‘Peter Wohlleben’s new book The Hidden Life of Trees has given me an entirely new perspective. It’s a fascinating insight into the language of trees: how they communicate with each other and even “feel”’. —Deborah Bogle, Adelaide Advertiser
‘Peter Wohlleben’s [book], backed by scientific research, will make you rethink the way you interact with nature and reignite the romantic notion of magical forests we read about as children.’ —MiNDFOOD Australia
Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests. He is the author of numerous books about trees.
This fascinating book will intrigue readers who love a walk through the woods. Wohlleben, who worked for the German forestry commission for 20 years and now manages a beech forest in Germany, has gathered research from scientists around the world examining how trees communicate and interact with one another. They do so using a variety of methods, including the secretion of scents and sound vibrations to warn neighboring plants of potential attacks by insects and hungry herbivores, drought, and other dangers. The book includes a note from forest scientist Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia, whose studies showed that entire forests can be connected by "using chemical signals sent through the fungal networks around their root tips" and led to the term "the wood-wide web." Wohlleben anthropomorphizes his subject, using such terms as friendship and parenting, which serves to make the technical information relatable, and he backs up his ideas with information from scientists. He even tackles the question of whether trees are intelligent. He hopes the day will come "when the language of trees will eventually be deciphered." Until then, Wohllenben's book offers readers a vivid glimpse into their secret world.