Book Review: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben


Full title:  The Hidden Life of Trees:  What they feel, how they communicate. Discoveries from a Secret World (find it at our shop – see the home page)

If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know how I feel about trees.  So, when one of the ladies in my intuitive development circle recommended this book, it went directly on my wish list.  I finally got it and devoured it quickly, so I wanted to tell you about it.

I have to admit, this could have been a very dry, scientific read and still conveyed the same information and reached the same conclusions.  Luckily, Mr. Wohlleben chose to use the tool of anthropomorphizing the forest community to draw the reader in.  Not the standard scientific approach, but very effective.

Mr. Wohlleben is a professional forester in Hümmel, Germany.  In America the word “forester” conjures an image of a man leading an army of loggers to a good spot while following behind them planting new trees.  That doesn’t seem to be what Peter Wohlleben does, however.  He manages a forest preserve – a place where humans aren’t allowed to interfere in the affairs of the forest.  As a result he has had the opportunity to learn how his forest works when humans aren’t using it for their own selfish purposes.


There are numerous things going on very slowly in the lives of these trees.  They have friends and families with whom they share knowledge and resources.  They warn one another of dangers from forest browsers and pests.  They have cooperative relationships with fungi, moss, and mistletoe.  When the snow is heavy, they lean on one another for support.  They care for sick family members so that they may recover from infection or attack.  Tress, it turns out, have very full lives apart from the basics of photosynthesis and growth!

With each chapter the reader’s love and respect for these giants grows.  By the end, I’m sure a new tree hugger will be born in each new reader.  If you’re a tree hugger from way back like me, you’ll find yourself looking at your tree friends with a new understanding.  Truly a soulful and informative tome which I highly recommend to all.


About Alicia

Mystic, nature lover, genealogist and witch here to put the "work" back in Lightworker.

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