The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Copses and wood seem static places, only changing as the seasons ebb and flow. The forests of Europe and the UK have inspired writers, built towns and fleets and provide food warmth and shelter for millennia. But all is not as it seems in this wooded world, as Wohlleben details in his book with the latest research and understanding of just how a tree is created, grows and dies. The science behind these ground-breaking new discoveries is revealing a secret world of communication, nurture and microclimates. The environment that they create from the roots to the tips of the crown is carefully controlled, they shelter young trees from fierce summer sun, pass nutrients through the fungal webs in the ground and protect each other from the battering in winter storms. There is details on how they manage to pump gallons of water high into the air; something that is not fully understood yet and how they react to when you hack a branch off. No wonder they can live five times longer than us.

He is deeply passionate about woods and forests, something that is evident from the very first chapter. The science that he reveals is almost unbelievable really, but it is backed up with solid evidence and examples; but there is still so much that we do not know or understand. As he has come to understand the deep complexity of these individual trees, and the forest as a whole, he has changed from being a logger to a forest ambassador and arguing that maintaining and enjoying the forests in a sustainable way is the best for us and the forests. Forests add so much to our health and our lives, and more importantly the well-being of our planet and this philosophy is as beneficial to us as it is to the management of the forests. This is a well written call to learn to love our wooded areas once again.

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