In ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific mechanisms behind these wonders, of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities, he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
Peter Wohlleben is a German forester who writes on ecological themes in popular language. After graduation from forestry school he took up a job as a government wood ranger in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1987. As he grew more familiar with the woodlands he was overseeing, he became disenchanted due to the damage caused by the techniques and technologies he was expected to employ, including the felling of mature trees and the use of insecticides.
In 2015 he wrote Das geheime Leben der Bäume, a book about natural forests which was later translated into english as The Hidden Life of Trees.
His other books are The Inner Life of Animals, The Weather Detective and the Secret Wisdom of Nature.
Wohlleben manages a beech forest on behalf of the municipality of Hümmel, Germany.