The Hidden Life of Trees


This brief profile on German forest ranger Peter Wohlleben, entitled German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too, is a fantastic read.

I happened across a mention of the article through Twitter, when someone posted up a screenshot of this text:

[Trees] can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.

I think much of this knowledge (that plants share a kind of networked communications system) is commonplace – at least, I remember seeing something about this on a science doc some years ago.

But it sounds like Wohlleben’s approach to describing things is what has been winning people over. Whlie the article itself is a great teaser, it hints at content that I’m assuming (hoping) is in the book.

Which isn’t available yet in English. Until September, 2016.

I hope the translation does the original justice. It’s funny, but I never really knew how important translators were, until I realized I had become “used” to William Weaver’s translations of Calvino.

Towards the end of the article, the topic seems to slide a bit into work and careers – something else that I hope will be explored in the book. I’ll leave you with this great line:

“With a forest, you have to think in terms of 200 or 300 years. I learned to accept that I can’t do everything. Nobody can.”

[Photo via Gordon Welters]

Backyard Tree Removal: Before and After Photos
Trees in Transit
Our Courtyard Tree was Older and More Famous Than I Realized
Old Trees, Old Friends

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave A Reply