The first book in New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben’s The Mysteries of Nature Trilogy. Book two, The Inner Life of Animals, and the third book, The Secret Wisdom of Nature, are available now.
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
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 trees.
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 international bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees by German forester Peter Wohlleben.
Table of Contents
Foreword Tim Flannery vii
Introduction to the English Edition x
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I knew quite a lot about trees already. This was a whole other level of viewing them, adding considerably to my knowledge and layers of perception around trees and their interactions. However, this was not a text book filled with biological facts. This book had those facts in abundance, but wrapped in the context of a tree's life, and a societal network for these beings that is barely even conceptualized, or even talked of in Dendrology, "the study of trees." When you read this book, prepare to be enlightened.
If you’ve ever wondered to what extent trees are alive, then The Hidden Life of Trees is the read for you. Peter Wohlleben excellently maintains the interest of readers while simultaneously introducing advanced topics. Unbeknownst to many people, trees live in complex societies where they communicate and help each other. Wohlleben shares this knowledge that he’s accumulated after spending decades in the forests of Germany. His passion for the subject helps pique the interest of readers. Wohlleben manages to simplify the complex subjects just enough that readers who lack a thorough knowledge in botany will still grasp the concepts that he presents. Readers should be aware that the original book was written in German and has been translated, however very few errors are detectable. I would highly recommend this read for those who have always felt at home in the forest, for it will greatly expand one’s knowledge about the complexity of trees while increasing the yearning to spend time among them.
Fascinating read. I have a new appreciation for trees. I had no idea how hard trees work to care for each other.
Seeing trees in a different light now. Not understanding much about nature (though I love all things living) I decided to read this book to get some knowledge. This was very interesting and explained things in a way that is not "text book" written. I would recommend this to anyone that loves hiking and appreciates nature and how it all works together.
This is a fascinating book, making trees a wonderful adventure. You can feel the author's underlying passion for trees; unfortunately I do not think the translator was able to successfully capture the passion.
I loved this book. Reading it felt like walking in the woods with a friend who kindly and knowledgeably shows you everything you can't see and explains the magical complexity of how trees live. The author's style is engaging and conversational.