The Hidden Life of Trees: a must-read book

“The Hidden Life of Trees” is the title of a fascinating book which should be on everyone’s must-read list. In this international bestseller, the author Peter Wohlleben opens readers’ eyes to the amazing processes at work in forests every day.

At Bios Urn we think that it’s one the most interesting things ever written. It’s about the way that trees can communicate with each other and how they defend themselves from predators. Did you know that trees can smell and even taste? Here is a modest introduction to a truly unique book.

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About The Hidden Life of Trees book

Trees have friends, feel loneliness, scream with pain and communicate underground via the “woodwide web”. Some act as parents and good neighbours. Others do more than just throw shade – they’re brutal bullies to rival species. The young ones take risks with their drinking and leaf-dropping then remember the hard lessons from their mistakes. It’s a hard-knock life.

A book called The Hidden Life of Trees is not an obvious bestseller but it’s easy to see the popular appeal of German forester and author Peter Wohlleben’s claims – they are so humanlike. Certainly, a walk in the park feels different when you imagine the network of roots crackling with sappy chat beneath your feet. We don’t know the half of what’s going on underground and beneath the bark, he says: “We have been looking at nature for the last 100 years like [it is] a machine.”

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Through rich language highlighting the interconnectedness of forest ecosystems, the book offers fascinating insights about the fungal communication highway known as the “wood wide web,” the difficult life lessons learned in tree school, the hard-working natural cleanup crews that recycle dying trees, and much more.

Meet the man behind “The Hidden Life of Trees”

Beech trees are bullies​ and​ willows are loners, says forester Peter Wohlleben, author of the book claiming that trees have personalities.

Wohlleben is the acclaimed author of the international bestsellers The Hidden Life of Trees book and The Inner Life of Animals. He spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ecological ideas into practice.

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Wohlleben – which fittingly translates as “Livewell” – has developed his thinking over the past decade while watching the powerful but self-interested survival system of the ancient beech forest he currently manages. “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 neighbour 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.”

Today the author manages a forest academy and an environmentally friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests. Listen to his views and thoughts in this TV interview.

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Where to get the The Hidden Life of Trees book

The Hidden Life of Trees, What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben is published by Greystone Books. It is available as a book and audiobook.

There is also now a new, breathtakingly illustrated edition brings those wonders to life like never before. Beautiful images provide the perfect complement to Wohlleben’s words, with striking close-ups of bark and seeds, panoramas of vast expanses of green, and a unique look at what is believed to be the oldest tree on the planet.

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We hope you enjoy it as much as us! We has definitely made us wonder what all the Bios Urn trees talk about around the world…

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Over the past four years we’ve worked to bring the Bios Urn to all the people in the world who wanted to use one. This list is a result of our hard work and dedication. Subscribe for more stories.

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