The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries from a Secret World

This revealing investigation (288 pages) was published in 09-13-2016 of 09-13-2016 by Greystone Books. The book takes you to into the forest. David read The Hidden Life of Trees and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if he didn't recommend it.

buy is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community.


The Hidden Life of Trees

What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries from a Secret World

Peter Wohlleben, Jane Billinghurst (translator)

It’s not an overstatement to say that reading this book will change everything you think you know about trees. It’s also no surprise this book has sold about three million copies worldwide: It’s intelligent, engaging, and imbued with empathy.

Author Peter Wohlleben uses his first-hand experience as a forest caretaker to convince us puny humans to see trees as a living, breathing, collaborative community of organisms that help each other — and all of us. He is trying with everything he can — and by translating science into terms the rest of us will understand — to raise the empathy of humans to trees.

He does this, in no small part, by anthropomorphizing the things trees do. In his world, trees have intelligence, memory, and are conscious of their environment. He explains how trees can smell, how they register pain, how they raise their young, and even how they can scream.

Unsurprisingly, there has been some pushback from scientists who take issue with the idea that trees are like humans. ‘Even in the forest,’ they say, ‘we want facts instead of fairy tales.’ But that hasn’t stopped the author’s rapid rise, nor should it prevent you from reading this wonderful book.

This is a compelling, fast read that will open up a whole new world of appreciation for the three trillion quiet giants, tender saplings, fruit orchards, fragrant firs, and leafy shade trees with whom we share the planet. Prepare for your next walk in the woods to be an entirely different experience — and maybe hug a tree.

The thing that surprised me most is how social trees are. I stumbled over an old stump one day and saw that it was still living although it was 400 or 500 years old, without any green leaf. Every living being needs nutrition. The only explanation was that it was supported by the neighbor trees via the roots with a sugar solution. As a forester, I learned that trees are competitors that struggle against each other, for light, for space, and there I saw that it’s just vice versa. Trees are very interested in keeping every member of this community alive. — Peter Wohlleben

keep reading

We cannot resist a sun-dappled path that winds among tall tree trunks, then seems to disappear around a curve just up ahead. What lies beyond: Danger? Treasure? Adventure? There's only one way to find out: Walk on.
Oh! A walk in the woods! There are berries to eat and trees to climb. You could catch a glimpse of a fuzzy rabbit or a majestic stag. You might also run afoul of a witch, be chased by a bear, or get lost forever.

sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter

Join our Substack to get our FREE newsletter with podcast updates and behind-the-scenes info join in fun chats about books and travel.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
Sign up for our free Substack!
follow us

Content on this site is ©2024 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.