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

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  2,013 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware. Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Greystone Books,Canada (first published May 25th 2015)
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João Carlos

Peter Wohlleben fotografia de Gordon Welters para "The New York Times"

Peter Wohlleben (n. 1964) é um guarda-florestal alemão que trabalha para o município de Hummel, na região de Eifel, sudoeste da Alemanha.
O livro ”A Vida Secreta das Árvores” é o resultado da actividade e do fascínio que Peter Wohlleben tem pela floresta; não, necessariamente, pela silvicultura moderna apenas interessada na produção de madeira e na maximização económica do negócio florestal, mas, fundamentalmente, na silvicultu
Matthew Quann
Jan 10, 2017 Matthew Quann rated it it was ok
Recommended to Matthew by: Anne Collini
If you've ever pondered the thought experiment in which a tree falls in an empty forest and the sound of its fall is in limbo, Peter Wohlleben's nonfiction might be for you. Quite simply, the sound would be heard, according to Wohlleben, because trees are able to interpret sound and communicate with one another. Not only that, Wohlleben attributes memory and thought to the stationary beings which most of us have long considered non-sentient. This is a book full of revelations about trees and ask ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
Tolkien was right. Trees live in the sloooooow lane (imagine healing a skin wound over decades) but what lives they lead! They have incredible social networks, share food, rear children, and care for the ill. Yes, there's some anthropomorphization here, but still...

When evolution has figured out how to tell time and talk to one another, you wish the trees could also talk to us and tell their stories. Peter Wohlleben has come pretty close to speaking for them and I will never look at trees the sa
I do recommend reading this book, even though I have given it only two stars! Remember two stars is a book that is OK! Read it for the new and interesting information it contains.

The book reports up-to-date information about the complex, symbiotic networks underlying communication between trees. It stresses that trees should be seen not as separate entities but rather as parts of a community where individuals are aware of their neighbors, relate to them, communicate with them and help each othe
You will never view trees the same way again after reading this book. Peter Wohlleben is a German conservationist and forester who manages a forest in the Eifel Mountains and has observed the slow-lane growth habits of his beloved trees, the secret underground social network that they share, the diseases and other dangers that threaten their survival--and most importantly, how crucial it is for the survival of all of us to allow forests to reach old-growth status again.

I read this book as a com
Sep 02, 2016 Isabel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
P. 132 – “ As fibras da madeira são especialmente adequadas para a transmissão acústica, sendo esse o motivo pelo qual instrumentos musicais como o violino ou a guitarra são feitos de madeira. O próprio leitor poderá atestá-lo através de uma experiência simples. Coloque o ouvido na extremidade mais delgada de um longo tronco caído e peça a uma segunda pessoa que pegue numa pedra e bata ou raspe cuidadosamente na extremidade mais grossa do tronco. É surpreendente verificar como o som pode ser cla ...more
Dec 18, 2016 Dulce added it
What a delightful treat of a read. Almost makes the city slicker want to walk in the trees. Maybe for a little bit.

(pre-read notes) I got a sampler for the English edition coming out and read the introduction by the author and I'm SO INTRIGUED BY THE TREES. Tolkien's Ents are some of my favourite creatures and it'll be exciting to read more about the things trees do in real life.

(full disclosure: I work for the publisher of the English translation of this book. However, I had no part in working
Richard Reese
Sep 26, 2016 Richard Reese rated it it was amazing
As a young lad in Germany, Peter Wohlleben loved nature. He went to forestry school, and became a wood ranger. At this job, he was expected to produce as many high quality saw logs as possible, with maximum efficiency, by any means necessary. His tool kit included heavy machinery and pesticides. This was forest mining, an enterprise that ravaged the forest ecosystem and had no long-term future. He oversaw a plantation of trees lined up in straight rows, evenly spaced. It was a concentration camp ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Suzanne rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, 2016
Don't buy this book. At first I thought that the prose was the fault of the translation from German to English. About 30 pages in, I realized that the book is poorly written, poorly edited, poorly translated, and then poorly edited again.

Chapters are anywhere from 3 to 8 pages, with most falling into the 3-5 range. Grand chapter titles with little information.

Very confusing science writing style. I am science literate, and I was confused with both the science he was trying to explain, and what
Jul 26, 2016 Bettie☯ marked it as lookedinto-decidedagainst
Jun 10, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jommen skjuler det seg ikke mye morsomt, underholdende og direkte rørende bak staute stammer kneisende løvkroner. Trærnes hemmelige liv var en ytterst sjarmerende liten bok - og om ikke det faktum at trær har følelser, empati og hukommelse får deg til å velge en Kindle fremfor en papirbok neste gang du er på leting etter sommerlektyre, så vet ikke jeg... ;-)
Laura Harrison
Jan 12, 2017 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing
I adore the Hidden Life of Trees. Every person on the planet should read-even study this incredible book. You will absolutely never look at trees and the natural world the same every again. I am so grateful for this book. Bravo Peter Wohlleben!
Unglaublich lernreich
Aug 21, 2016 Fabienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bomen zijn nu eenmaal langzaam..." (p.15).
Alicja Górska


Sięgając po „Sekretne życie drzew” miałam nadzieję na coś w stylu, sławnej w latach 90., „Monstrrrualnej erudycji”. Okazało się jednak, że choć autor wyraźnie miał podobne aspiracje, jeżeli chodzi o kształt napisanej książki, to nie poradził sobie z utrzymaniem rejestrów wypowiedzi. Z jednej strony czytelnik zmierzyć się musi z wstawkami o drzewnych dzieciach ulicy czy imprezujących na drzewach grzybach tudzież żukach; z drugiej zaś ze specjalistyczn
Sep 27, 2016 Kate TERHAAR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting reading about the "wood wide web" of trees and that trees have different character.
Peter Wohlleben explains "the process of a deciduous tree preparing for winter. If it drops its leaves too early, it loses valuable photosynthesizing and food production time. If it drops its leaves too late, it risks losing entire branches, made more vulnerable to high winds when in full leaf, in October and November storms. The problem of when to drop leaves is a “decision” that individual tree
Karel-Willem Delrue
Precies als mensen

3 april 2016. De koers was gereden. De barbecue smeulde nog na. De lente was begonnen. Met mijn vader wandelde ik de tuin in en onze aandacht werd getrokken door een boom die stekelige bladeren produceerde aan zijn onderste takken. Het opvallende was dat de struik eronder gelijkaardige bladeren had. Hadden die twee dat onderling afgesproken? “We weten nog lang niet alles, hoor, jongen.”

In ‘Het verborgen leven van bomen’ openbaart de Duitse boswachter Peter Wohlleben een aantal
Jul 07, 2016 Sebastian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
In dem Buch finden sich, trotz einiger fachlicher Fehler, auch für mich als Biologen noch einige interessante neue Informationen. Allerdings ist das ist auch schon der einzige Pluspunkt an diesem "Wohlfühl-Baum-Esoterik-Schinken".

Ich verstehe, dass der Autor dem Laien Bäume näher bringen will. Völlig fehl am Platz ist hierbei aber die durchgehende Vermenschlichung von Pflanzen und Pilzen, die sich in Aussagen wie "Ich habe den Verdacht, dass Pilze ein kleinen wenig weiter denken als ihre Partner
Alex Sarll
A wealth of fascinating material couched in an utterly and increasingly infuriating prose style. Normally, when I'm doing a proper review of a book elsewhere, my Goodreads review will be the more personal, allusive or niche material that wouldn't fit there. This time, alas, it's really just a cry from the depths: thank goodness I don't have to read any more of those jokes which don't even quite reach the level of dad jokes.
Matthew Burris
Jul 12, 2016 Matthew Burris rated it really liked it
This was interesting. I don't think there's any way you could read this book and not come away with a new perspective on forests/trees. Recommended.
Dan Martin
Oct 25, 2016 Dan Martin rated it it was amazing
This is a primer about trees for everyday people. What I love about this book is that it packs a ton of fascinating facts into its 250 pages that I never knew. And it lays out its case that trees are in need of our help - by leaving them alone. This book is not a screaming environmentalist preaching to the choir. It's a knowledgable person speaking to the masses, letting us know that trees need us as much as we need them, and that there's still so much we don't understand about their benefits.

Oct 19, 2016 محمد rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books, science
إذا فالأشجار كائنات محيطات عيشها أكبر مما نتصورها. حقيقة أني وبعد انتهائي من هذا الكتاب أدركت فداحة أن نذبح الأشجار ونقطع الزهور، واستحضرت قصيدة أمل دنقل عن الوردة حين قال:

كلُّ باقهْ..

بينَ إغماءة وإفاقهْ

تتنفسُ مِثلِىَ - بالكادِ - ثانيةً.. ثانيهْ

وعلى صدرِها حمَلتْ - راضيهْ...

اسمَ قاتِلها في بطاقهْ!

فمتى أيها الإنسان الجميل، ستستحي وتترك الجمال طليقا :)
David Moss
Nov 27, 2016 David Moss rated it really liked it
after reading this book i have a deeper appreciation for trees and forests.
Narayan Sharma
My first impression after reading the first few chapters of the book: No! Is it!? It cannot be true? How come this is possible? Too much anthropomorphisms! Perhaps my sceptical mind was not able to register that plants do communicate; they do warn their neighbours; they do care for and nourish their kins, and help each other during the troubled time! However, Peter Wohlleben waives the narrative and unravels the secret world of plant with such authority--with solid backing of good science--that ...more
Holly McIntyre
Oct 06, 2016 Holly McIntyre rated it it was amazing
I wrote a review, but then it disappeared. My apologies if this is a repeat.

What a wonderful, odd, interesting little book. I'm just glad that I didn't read it before cutting the stand of trees that enabled my retirement, because I might now still be in the 9-5. The author personifies trees at every turn -- trees learn; they communicate; they care for their young. Wohlleben, a forester for a public forest in Germany, disagrees with every practice of commercial forestry. Trees, left alone, will
Oct 09, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it
After reading The Hidden Life of Trees, I never want to hurt a tree again. I want to rethink the idea of a yard with a tree here and there. Wohlleben relates his experience with forest trees and the science behind trees in a very gentle, understandable way.
A great book for anyone who loves nature and wants to understand more about how nature works.
Jimmy Ele
Oct 10, 2016 Jimmy Ele rated it it was amazing
Shelves: foundation
A delightful odyssey through the eyes of a man who shares his exciting discoveries about our often overlooked woody-leafy friends. Reading this book, I felt as though I were walking alongside Peter Wohlleben through ancient and majestic woods. I am waxing poetic but I assure you that the book is brimming with scientific facts enough to keep you turning that page. The very page we are turning ironically used to be a tree. Once you read this book, your walks outside will never be the same again.
Sep 25, 2016 Manderson rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I did enjoy the conversational style of this book and how the author anthropomorphizes trees to bring them closer to our understanding, while basking in the awe of their differences.

But I just didn't find the sentences flowed well, making it difficult to sustain attention and interest when reading on a crowded bus on my way to and from work.

This isn't to say that it isn't a worthy read, if you are into trees. There were many spots of illumination throughout. But still waiting for an author to do
Sep 23, 2016 Harrison rated it really liked it
Recommend for any tree lovers (and you should all be tree lovers)
Jan 16, 2017 Krista rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2017
So, let's get back to why the roots are the most important part of a tree. Conceivably, this is where the tree equivalent of a brain is located. Brain? you ask. Isn't that a bit farfetched? Possibly, but now we know that trees can learn. This means they must store experiences somewhere, and therefore, there must be some kind of a storage mechanism inside the organism. Just where it is, no one knows, but the roots are the part of the tree best suited to the task.

Early in The Hidden Life of Tree
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Around the Year i...: The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben 1 17 Sep 23, 2016 07:42AM  
  • One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives
  • The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination
  • Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees
  • The Hidden Forest: The Biography of an Ecosystem
  • The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature
  • Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time
  • Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World
  • What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
  • Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes
  • Field Notes on Science & Nature
  • Tree: A Life Story
  • American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation
  • The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes
  • A Natural History of North American Trees
  • The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodeversity in the Home Garden
  • A World Without Ice
  • The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live & Why They Matter
  • The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds
Peter Wohlleben born in Bonn, 1964, is a German forester and author who writes on ecological themes in popular language.
More about Peter Wohlleben...

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“A tree’s most important means of staying connected to other trees is a “wood wide web” of soil fungi that connects vegetation in an intimate network that allows the sharing of an enormous amount of information and goods.” 3 likes
“Trees don't rely exclusively on dispersal in the air, for if they did, some neighbors would not get wind of the danger. Dr. Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has discovered that they also warn each other using chemical signals sent through the fungal networks around their root tips, which operate no matter what the weather. Surprisingly, news bulletins are sent via the roots not only by means of chemical compounds but also by means of electrical impulses that travel at the speed of a third of an inch per second. In comparison with our bodies, it is, admittedly, extremely slow. However there are species in the animal kingdom, such as jellyfish and worms, whose nervous systems conduct impulses at similar speed. Once the latest news has been broadcast, all oaks int he area promptly pump tannins through their veins.” 2 likes
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