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

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


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A NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER • One of the most beloved books of our time: an illuminating account of the forest, and the science that shows us how trees communicate, feel, and live in social networks. After reading this book, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

“Breaks entirely new ground ... [Peter Wohlleben] has listened to trees and decoded their language. Now he speaks for them.”—The New York Review of Books

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BRAINPICKINGS • HONORABLE MENTION: SEJ Rachel Carson Environment Book Award • Shortlisted: Audible International Book of the Year Award • Books For a Better Life Award • Indie Choice Award—Nonfiction Book of the Year

Are trees social beings? In The Hidden Life of Trees 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 that he has observed in his woodland.

“A declaration of love and an engrossing primer on trees, brimming with facts and an unashamed awe for nature.”—Washington Post

“Heavily dusted with the glitter of wonderment.”—The New Yorker

Includes a Note From a Forest Scientist by Dr.Suzanne Simard

Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771642484
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 09/13/2016
Series: The Mysteries of Nature , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 10,800
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 1110L (what's this?)

About the Author

Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany 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 the natural world including The Hidden Life of TreesThe Inner Lives of Animals, and The Secret Wisdom of Nature, which together make up his bestselling The Mysteries of Nature Series. He has also written numerous books for children including Can You Hear the Trees Talking? and Peter and the Tree Children. To learn more about Peter and his books, visit his website at

Tim Flannery is a scientist, explorer and conservationist. He is a leading writer on climate change and his books include Atmosphere of Hope and The Weather Makers.

Jane Billinghurst’s career has been in book publishing in the UK, the US, and Canada, as an editor, publisher, writer, and translator. She is the translator of the New York Times-bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees by German forester Peter Wohlleben.

Table of Contents

Foreword Tim Flannery vii

Introduction to the English Edition x

Introduction xiii

1 Friendships 1

2 The Language of Trees 6

3 Social Security 14

4 Love 19

5 The Tree Lottery 25

6 Slowly Does It 31

7 Forest Etiquette 37

8 Tree School 43

9 United We Stand, Divided We Fall 49

10 The Mysteries of Moving Water 56

11 Trees Aging Gracefully 60

12 Mighty Oak or Mighty Wimp? 68

13 Specialists 73

14 Tree or Not Tree? 79

15 In the Realm of Darkness 85

16 Carbon Dioxide Vacuums 93

17 Woody Climate Control 99

18 The Forest as Water Pump 105

19 Yours or Mine? 113

20 Community Housing Projects 125

21 Mother Ships of Biodiversity 131

22 Hibernation 136

23 A Sense of Time 147

24 A Question of Character 151

25 The Sick Tree 155

26 Let There Be Light 162

27 Street Kids 169

28 Burnout 180

29 Destination North! 186

30 Tough Customers 195

31 Turbulent Times 201

32 Immigrants 211

33 Healthy Forest Air 221

34 Why Is the Forest Green? 227

35 Set Free 233

36 More Than Just a Commodity 241

Note from a Forest Scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard 247

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 252

Index 261

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