The Hidden Life of Trees

The Hidden Life of Trees

What They Feel, How They Communicate : Discoveries From A Secret World

Book - 2016
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"A forester's fascinating stories, supported by the latest scientific research, reveal the extraordinary world of forests and illustrate how trees communicate and care for each other"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Vancouver :, David Suzuki Institute :, Greystone Books,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781771642484
Branch Call Number: 582.16 Woh
Characteristics: xv, 272 pages : illustrations


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Aug 08, 2017

Annoyingly anthropomorphized. Seems much more touchy-feely than scientific.

Jul 28, 2017

On rare occasions, randomly or by choice, a book is read that alters irretrievably the construct of one's daily existence. There is no going back. To wit, Peter Wohlleben's The Hidden Life of TREES. Simply stated, the illumination of this formerly hidden realm means blithely taking trees for granted no longer presents itself as an option. Respect, if not awe, is front and center. Instead of fleeting, unfocused glances at trees while walking, now my gaze lingers. Contemplation. As the author states "- only people who understand trees are capable of protecting them."

Jun 21, 2017

The author makes emotional, rather than scientific, arguments about trees and forests. Entertaining if unsubstantiated claims.

scissorsnglue Jun 07, 2017

I looked forward to this book as it had such good reviews and it doesn't disappoint. I'm very interested in ecosystems and soil bacteria and this book just adds another layer to the picture for me. Some astounding things go on in the plant world.

debwalker Apr 16, 2017

Calling all tree huggers! Yes. We are many. Recommended by local hero Mark Cullen.

Apr 12, 2017

I read this for a change of pace. The author initially comes across as a little bit of a nut job. However, by balancing scientific research and personal experience, he manages to make a strong case for appreciating trees. Last summer I hiked the Continental Divide Trail and was amazed with some of the trees. If I had read this book beforehand, my appreciation would've been much deeper.

Apr 03, 2017

Fascinating, engaging and enlightening.

SquamishLibraryStaff Feb 25, 2017

You will never be able to see trees in quite the same way after reading this book. When you embrace the concept that trees have way more sensory and social capacity than we might have ever thought possible, you will be moved to treat them with the respect that these magnificent, leafy beings deserve. Go give a 'Green Man' a hug!

Feb 02, 2017

After reading this book from the library I had to go out and buy my own copy. It is a book I will want to read over and over again! So much to learn written in an easy to understand way. I read over 100 books a year and this one is by far the best in a very long time. Thanks

Feb 01, 2017

This book is a delightful read. The author, Peter Wohllben, writes about a subject that he knows a lot about and loves. What is truly remarkable is that Wohllbren was able to "humanize" trees so that we are able to see them as similar to and like us in many ways.
I grew up in the tropics (Guyana) and have spent my youthful years enjoying wildlife and nature ( for example, bushes, forests and trees and their occupants included). I still enjoy trees and the atmosphere they provide. Then I thought various parts of a forest seem to have a different personality - cheerful, friendly, foreboding etc), now I know that those intuitive thoughts were justified.

In "The Prehistories of Baseball,"* it is mentioned that in ancient times, trees were worshiped, and were also thought to be custodians of knowledge - because of their long life and they reached into the earth and into the sky. The worshiping rituals include circular movements around a great tree - a distance away from the sacred tree. When the tree died, people still trod the beaten paths to their once mighty deity. The stump later became a revered stupa, in places like ancient India. The stupa was later adopted by Buddhists. Indo- Europeans took their practices as they moved westwards. The rituals of circular movements around a central mound, now seen in baseball, is also reminiscent of our ancient tree-worshiping rituals. We still love to gather at these places (forest groves) with mounds (natural cathedrals). Our ancient reverence for trees, worship and community still survives in baseball.
Seelochan Beharry
* The Prehistories of Baseball.

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Feb 23, 2017

I had to wait for a long time for this book, so I felt a little compelled to read the whole thing. I didn't though; certainly no reflection on its value, but rather on my interest in the subject. It was written by a man who obviously knows a great deal and cares deeply about trees and forests. He delivered information in an anthropomorphic manner, talking about trees taking care of their offspring, warning other trees about predators, being lonely if they are the only one of their kind, etc. The approach was very charming and I was amazed at their communication with each other and social interdependency. Nevertheless, I gave myself permission to close the book about half way through. Maybe because the idea that trees are living beings, sentient in their own way, was not alien to me in the first place. Maybe because there are a number of other books on my shelf that I am eager to get into.

So, I did go back and finish it. My ultimate assessment is that there is much scientific information about trees -- too much for me to remember. What I took away is the trees are not that different from animals (and humans).


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Jul 18, 2017

Whether they are thick or thin, all members of the same species are using light to produce the same amount of sugar per leaf. This equalization is taking place underground through the roots. There's obviously a lively exchange going on down there. Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets help. Once again, fungi are involved. Their enormous networks act as gigantic redistribution mechanisms. It's a bit like the way social security systems operate to ensure individual members of society don't fall too far behind. p.15-6

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