The Hidden Life of Trees

The Hidden Life of Trees

What They Feel, How They Communicate : Discoveries From A Secret World

Book - 2016
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The first of a three-part series investigating the wonders of nature by New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben. Book two, The Inner Life of Animals, is now available as well.

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 learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist, by Dr.Suzanne Simard
Publisher: Vancouver : David Suzuki Institute/Greystone Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781771642484
Branch Call Number: 582.16 Woh
Characteristics: xv, 272 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

Just because we can't see it or communicate with them, doesn't mean that they don't have inner lives. (Nor should we assume that. I mean, we generally assume babies have inner lives that they are unable to articulate until a certain point in their lives, and we don't treat them the way we do tree... Read More »

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Nov 28, 2017

I rarely give 5 star ratings. But I learned so much from this book, and at the same time enjoyed reading it so much, that I didn't think twice about 5 starring this one.
This book gives answers to questions you didn't know you had. And it explains some of the reasons that "Nature" exposure heals humans. We are part of a vast "World Wood Web" (the author's clever term), so that when our "natural" world is out of whack, we are too

A fascinating and easy book to read. We may have learned that Trees are lovely from Joyce Kilmer but after reading this book, you'll understand how complex trees are.

May 24, 2017

Great book! Loved all the info about trees in Old forests that have been little disturbed by people. So much info I could retain few facts but mostly ideas. May purchase to have as a reference book. Perfect book if you like trees!! Getting ready for Yosemite :)

Mar 26, 2017

4.5 stars. As nature books go, this is fascinating and yet somehow intuitive; the reason deforestation feels so wrong. Wohlleben does a fantastic job of explaining every aspect of why forests are important, especially ancient forests that work like families rather than trees planted in unsuitable areas or those contained or controlled for public spaces which are unable to thrive they way they are destined to.

"Trees maintain an inner balance. They budget their strength carefully so that they can meet all their needs. They expend some energy in growing. They must lengthen their branches and widen the diameter of their trunks to support their increasing weight. They also hold some energy in reserve so that they can react immediately and activate defensive compounds in their leaves and bark if insects or fungi attack." (p.25)

Sounds like a manual for life, doesn't it?

Feb 10, 2017

If you didn't like anthropomorphism with Bambi, Jumbo and Lassie, for sure you're not going to enjoy what author Wohlleben does to he favourite beech, his proud oak and his favourite forest stand. You can just hear him affectionately whisper their names: Gudrun, Odin and Fritz.
But perhaps it is time that we acknowledge tress as living, even sentient creatures capable of even intelligently taking note of and responding to their environment. They are capable of feeding other trees; they can warn one another of impending insect attacks; their rootlets allow them to communicate with one another.
There is much in this book that is thought provoking, much that is interesting, much that is useful.
This book sometimes suffers in translation from its original German. Sometimes its difficult to tell what kind of readership the author is trying to reach: juvenile or mature; one who knows nothing of trees or one who has committed considerable time to their study.
The book would benefit from the liberal inclusion of illustrations, particularly for the benefit of North American urbanites, many of whom may have become out of touch with the forest environment.
Peter Wohlleben, a practising forester practising a somewhat unusual type of forestry management has produced a very readable book that is very much worthy of your attention.

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