From the New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees comes the perfect gift for those who want to deepen their knowledge of the natural world, with stunning new science about trees, fungi, and the forest.
A powerful return to the forest, where trees have heartbeats and roots are like brains that extend underground. Where the color 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 climate change, 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. We just have to know where to look.
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 forestthe consciousness of plantsand 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.
Praise for The Heartbeat of Trees
“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
Forester Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) takes an eclectic look at humanity's relationships with trees in this heartfelt survey. To prove that "the ancient tie that binds humans and nature exists to this day and is as strong as ever," Wohlleben looks at tree worship (including the "marriage of trees" ritual in Italy), common expressions such as "shaking like a leaf," and the various ways humans use products derived from plants for medication (willow tree bark helps with headaches, for example). He also notes traits shared between plants and humans: a South American vine can see, he argues, as it creates leaves exactly like those of its host tree, and he offers evidence that spruce trees feel pain when attacked by bark beetles. Paramount to Wohlleben is the role forests play in the health of nature and civilization he mourns the destruction of diverse old-growth forests, and decries modern forestry's single species "plantations," where endless cycles of planting, thinning, and clear-cutting destroy the very meaning of forest. Along the way, moving accounts of fellow activists' efforts to save treasured woodlands bolster his plea that humans should let forests return to their natural state. Nature-minded readers will enjoy this episodic deep dive.