The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Reading this book will change the way you see trees. In folktales and childhood stories, sometimes trees are characters with personalities and relationships, not merely commodities for the mill. Wohlleben tells a story of science that enchants our giant neighbors again.

It turns out that as trees breathe,  they communicate with each other, turn their arms to the rain, resist threats, and face danger together. Trees shelter their young, hold hands (sort of) and are faithful to fallen neighbors, feeding the stumps of missing friends with their own roots. Trees exhibit individual differences, adapt to the seasons and to local environments, share resources and protect their own kind.

This is another new nature book in which a scientist/naturalist presents her/his biology and chemistry results, from years of careful observation and sympathetic analysis, giving his subjects the gift of deep thought and imaginative narration. Wohlleben describes our neighbors, the trees, not as “other” but as fellow, related creatures of earth. In their apparent impassive stillness, trees alter our human sense of time and of the span of generations. They might even stun us, and quiet us, into a new kind of humility and wonder.

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