[[ Free eBook ]] Das geheime Leben der Bäume: Was sie fühlen, wie sie kommunizieren - die Entdeckung einer verborgenen Welt Author Peter Wohlleben – Andy-palmer.co.uk
We read in fairy tales of trees with human faces, trees that can talk, and sometimes walk This enchanted forest is the kind of place, I feel sure, that Peter Wohlleben inhabits His deep understanding of the lives of trees, reached through decades of careful observation and study, reveals a world so astonishing that if you read his book, I believe that forests will become magical places for you, too The electrical impulses that pass through the roots of trees, for example, move at the slow rate of one third of an inch per second Translated from the German version, which was published in 2015, Wohlleben shares with the reader the secrets that foresters have known for a while Trees live in, have, a relationship with the trees around them beyond the fact that they are trees in the same location They retain memories that help them through the seasons not to catalog the wrongs done to them , they have a sense of taste, smell, hearing just not exactly like we do.Many years ago, the first time I went to Maui, when I was in Lahaina I was fascinated with the Banyan trees, their interconnected root system, and their unique appearance When I first heard about this book, I thought of those trees and I knew I wanted to read it This isn t overly heavy in the scientific aspect of trees, some sections flow with a lightness and ease that most people can easily relate to, and other sections get into a deeper peek, but overall this is a relatively undemanding read If anything, it does require that you set aside everything you ve ever believed about trees The truth lies somewhere between chopping down a forest and believing that doesn t hurt anything and that an aggravated apple tree can throw apples at you if you pick apples without politely asking, firstWhen you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with large machines One would hope that would be true.Trees have memories, they have a sense of taste, and smell, they can feel, and through means other than eyes and ears, they can see and hearThe saliva of each species is different, and trees can math the saliva to the insect Indeed, the match can be so precise that trees can release pheromones that summon specific beneficial predators For if they can identify saliva, they must also have a sense of taste There is a bit of humour in this, and knowledge to be gained this is research based information, but it s also not a book about the science of the study of trees, it s along the lines of someone who is so enthusiastic about what he s telling you that sometimes, every once in a while, he might digress a bit, and lose some readers for a few minutes Overall, I found this to be fascinating, if not exactly everyone s cup of tea I kinda loved this I learned a lot that is easily retainable, and know where to look for the answers I loved the author s gushingly boyish tree crush ing, but really, who can blame him for his enthusiasm This was a charmingly enchanting read which benefitted by Wohlleben s charisma and enthusiasm for the topicWe lived on a street where the tall elm shadeWas as green as the grass and as cool as a bladeThat you held in your teeth as we lay on our backsStaring up at the blue and the blue stared backOnly a Dream lyrics song Mary Chapin CarpenterThe house I grew up in had woods to one side as far as you could see, and woods behind as far as you could see A few houses on our street, streets in our neighborhood, with one lake and trees that surrounded the neighborhood When I ve been back there, it all pretty much looks the same The tree that I climbed so high that I couldn t get down by myself still stands there, the initials of almost every boy or girl carved into it with a and another set of initials is now so high up on the tree I can t see itI used to believe we were just like those treesWe d grown just as tall and as proud as we pleasedWith our feet on the ground and our arms in the breezeUnder a sheltering sky Twirl me about, and twirl me aroundLet me grow dizzy and fall to the groundAnd when I look up at you looking down,Say it was only a dreamOnly a Dream lyrics song Mary Chapin CarpenterMany thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book An organism that is too greedy and takes too much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for lifePeter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of TreesPeter Wohlleben has written a beautiful book on trees He captures the imagination and translates his vision well Like many science books for the masses he takes a good deal of information and distills it well for the amateur forester and part time tree hugger The only reason I give this book four stars and not five is because his biggest strength is also, perhaps, his biggest or most important weakness I worry about the anthropomorphizing of animals, fungus, or plant It is a strength because it creates empathy It works I read that a tree might feel pain, communicates, nutures its young, takes care of the sick, works together, counts, etc., and I am hopefully, if I have any empathy in me feel a bit hesitant to abuse or misuse trees BUT, my concern with this type of treatment is two fold 1 trees aren t human By focusing on the parts of trees or forests that appear to have human traits, we are putting ourselves at the center We are creating or strengthening the notion rather that WE are the freaking center of the living universe Those trees they are important because they LOOK ACT like us It is a slippery slope Do the benefits outweigh the costs in the short or long term I don t know I just know there is a danger here 2 perhaps, by giving these behaviors communication, counting, etc words that have a very significant meaning for man, we are actually NOT communicating what they are doing that is unique Maybe communication or counting or nurturing ISN T what they are doing and these human behavior metaphors are not allowing these amazing trees to be viewed as amazing AND alien enough This isn t the same, but it for me is similar to comparing fungi to plants Yes, their might be similarities, but these are two completely separate kingdoms Sometimes, we can mix them together in a salad perhaps , but some metaphors don t do justice to just how funky and beautiful and DIFFERENT these kingdoms really are Perhaps, by making trees seem human we are doing a long term disservice by NOT making them seem alien enough.And, perhap, I m just wrong I m willing to accept that too. As humans, daft creatures that we are, we are predisposed to look at where the action is Swift movements, loud noises and bright colours capture our attention Maybe this stems from our primitive instinct for survival, allowing us to spot the dangers darting in our general direction Or it could be the result of our desire to procreate that can t make us look past flaunted flesh and luscious lips Whatever the reasons, at some point we have begun to think in terms of foreground and background The former is where the action is, the latter a necessary formality because the void would be too depressing an environment.During short lapses of my otherwise well founded modesty I like to think of myself as something other than an utter idiot In doing so I tend to refer to my habits of reading, writing, cogitating and looking at backgrounds It s one of the ways to make scrolling through tedious travel pictures slightly interesting If a movie s dialogue doesn t ignite my interest, I find enjoyment in looking at the B actors located in the background of the scene, pretending to go about their daily business, assuming they will remain unseen unless for when they ll point themselves out to friends and family My smartphone camera comes with a focus that easily jumps in between the different layers of the hubbub I point it towards, making the scenery rich with potential for anecdote and diminishing the borders between foreground and background to a triviality As someone who appreciates all that I allowed myself to think I was than just a casual observer.A dreamy bubble that is now duly burst One of the many things that Peter Wohlleben s book has taught me is that a lot of phenomena escape my flittering attention as I skip and skedaddle through life The trees are such a phenomenon A majestic backdrop to many of my sweetest memories, yet never given the notice they were due.Our world is full of magical places These can be found on the ocean s vigorous waves, on a tranquil mountain top or in a lover s embrace One other such place is under the canopy of trees In their mystic shade of earthy green some people reach enlightenment, others find fundamental scientific truths and many discover peace Troubled heads are cleared as they rest on ancient trunks and laden hearts are lightened by the sound of rustling leaves Why are we not in constant awe for these beings of wonder that should be worthy of worship People now will often mock that notion, hacking and slashing their way to prosperity with no regard for the beings that have been here millions of years Or to recall the way Treebeard put it very emphatically when talking about Orks They come with fire They come with axes Gnawing, biting, breaking hacking burning Destroyers and usurpers, curse them Wohlleben s book The Hidden Life of Trees worked the same way for me as the focus changer does for my camera This book inaugurated a new sensibility that feels purposeful and asks to be deeply understood The way I looked at the world and the way I looked at my memories had been tainted by a particular and exclusive interest for human affairs Wohlleben put the splendour of trees in a sharp and welcome focus, opening my eyes as they welled up with remorseful tears My perspective changed, and now an everyday city scenery has become a concrete concentration camp for trees forced to live in isolation, cut off from their potential and cut down to serve cityscaping needs One redeeming factor is of course the knowledge that trees don t feel How sweetly we sleep in the comfort of that intuition Unfortunately, Wohlleben puts some question marks next to that soothing notion This author s narration couldn t have been convincing and captivating and the fact that I automatically read it with David Attenborough s voice in mind can serve to stress that point The trees become both actors and center stage in this epic tale of survival against all odds Their struggle for an inner balance as they grow, mend their wounds, spread their roots and branches, drop their leaves, drink the water and capture the sunlight makes for a truly engaging read The race between a fungus eating its way to the heartwood and a tree growing healthy bark and moist material to stop the enemy in its tracks is thrilling than a car chase, despite the impression that the timescale on which trees live make such matters less pressing Yet they are pressing, and a matter of life and death A tree can spend hundreds of years on its death bed but still serve a purpose, procreate and provide energy for its siblings and offspring And when reading about this struggle for survival and growth, I could not help but discern a will for life that stirred within these entities It s not just the trees that are the protagonists of this book, but also the tiny creatures that live on and around them I ve mentioned the fungi with which they have a love hate relationship Trees are also in what one might call a complicated relationship with small rodents, birds and insects, who sometimes help them in the dissemination of their seeds but can also wound them fatally When caterpillars attack, reinforcements are called in with aromatic signals to deal with them Ants are running their own brand of livestock farms as they herd aphids for the sugarry residues they leave behind when they feed off the leaves The book is chock full of such anecdotes that show us how trees are in fact megacities teeming with life.The biggest reveal came quite early in this book trees communicate As an introvert I didn t find that piece of information especially salient, but it does show that goes on in the deep forests than a mere survival of the fittest Trees often work together as a community, protecting and supporting each other, sending each other signals and goods They use a wood wide web of roots and fungal chords that allow the transportation of nutrients from one tree to the other They produce scents that get picked up by their cousins urging them to put up protective barriers before the enemy arrives At the start of this book I had some severe difficulties accepting that the author would bestow certain qualities on trees that they couldn t possibly have, such as the capacity to feel, know, remember and be happy Even after reading the book I have to admit this sometimes feels like a stretch, but that s really not the message one should remember from this review The fact of the matter is that we don t know how far the sentience of these beings reaches The latest scientific observations at least hint at the possibility that this author, which some might consider little than a romantic treehugger, could be on to something Even if trees don t feel like how we do, the realisation that trees are the hands that have been feeding us for many years should at least be a lesson in humility and inspire us to stop gnawing at them Trees don t only provide us with the oxygen we breathe but serve many other vital purposes enumerated in this book, ranging from biodiversity to inland water supply It s not just a matter of cutting down old trees and planting new ones, either Balance is key, and such a balance can only occur on a timescale we can hardly grasp The trees that provided the pages for this book are the prophets of their kind, emissaries of a lifeform we ve been neglecting So don t feel guilty about getting a hard copy Pick one up, go sit under a tree if you can still find one, read it and look up to a new world. Q Trees are very social beings, and they help each other out c If even 10% of this is true, we live in a mode diverse world than we ever imagined Wood wide webs, allowing social interation between trees Trees in friendship, feeding, hugging and warning each other Trees having sense of taste and smell, talking to each other via sound waves of particular wavelengths.Tree lottery Forest etiquette Only a true lover of all things natural could have come up with such poetic topics to discuss Q Planted forests behave like street kids c Q A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it c Q The trees might be screaming out a dire warning to their colleagues that water levels are running low c Q I have learned from this just how powerful a community of trees can be c Peter Wohlleben has written a wonderful little book about trees He is a forester he manages a forest in Germany He must do a wonderful job, as he has amazing insights into the life of trees and tree society.Did I say society Yes, trees communicate with each other, nurture their young, and aid the ill when disease or distress strikes Does this sound unlikely Well, it sounded a bit over the top to me, until I started reading this book Forests are superorganisms that exchange nutrients through inter connected root systems They are a bit analogous to ant colonies Wohlleben cites evidence of a 400 year old beech tree that was actually being kept alive by neighboring beech trees Acacia trees warn other nearby trees of giraffes who are feeding on them As a result, the pre warned trees pump toxic substances into their leaves within a period of a few minutes, causing the giraffes to leave the area The giraffes walked 100 yards away, bypassing nearby trees before continuing to feed They chewed on trees that were either oblivious to the warnings, or they walked upwind These warnings are sent using electrical impulses that travel 1 3rd of an inch per second These impulses are propagated along filaments of fungi.When trees sense insects eating their leaves, the trees can classify their saliva Then they release pheromones that summon specific insect predators So, it seems that trees actually have a sense of taste.I learned how older, mature trees nurture their young Their enormous canopies shut out most of the light from the shorter trees, preventing the young ones from growing too fast This enables the young trees to grow strong, dense wood that will eventually, in a hundred or two hundred years, to grow big and strong themselves However, in forests that are overly managed, some of the bigger trees are culled, allowing the smaller trees to grow too fast Then they never reach their potential height as they age.I learned why conifer trees grow needles and are evergreen , while deciduous trees shed their leaves each fall It would almost seem like conifers are smart , as they do not waste energy growing new leaves each spring But there is a reason for all this Evergreens grow needles that are shed only once every few years Each fall the needles develop a waxy covering that impedes evaporation over the winter The needles have very little surface area for catching the wind and snow Deciduous leaves, however, do catch the wind, and are a handicap during storms and snowfalls They are dropped in the fall to prevent the trees from bending and breaking in a big wind storm or under a heavy layer of snow.This book was originally written in German and translated into English the translation is excellent The book is not only informative, but is fun to read Wohlleben makes analogies between trees and animals, and these analogies help shed insight into the slow, ancient life of trees The book is not written in a humorous tone it is written in a wonderful down to earth style Although Wohlleben is not a scientist, he discusses the latest research and it is a joy to learn about his points of view. You can read this for the science or, like me, for how it helped me see We are always in need of books that part the curtains of the familiar, the stuff we walk around and take for granted In this case trees, all around us, the beings who help us breathe It turns out they compete and cooperate and communicate, they form alliances and have processes that we are hard call to name so we must resort to words like grief and love If you are non scientific like me, or even if you are, you will be thankful for the seeing You will see better It will start with trees you ll notice the wrinkles in their bark, the wounds made by woodpeckers who cleansed them of insects but not without pain You will notice how a pear tree curved sideways to give light to the cherry tree, which a clumsy gardener planted too close together What you will see is life, all around you You will be startled with how much life there is and maybe even be amazed at your own spark, a tiny but real part of the whole I also liked entering into a different time consciousness the time that trees inhabit If you were an oak and not in danger of being cut down you d be looking forward to finally being a toddler a hundred years from now, a teenager without parental restraints in a mere two hundred Each year a miniature life with deaths and births It is okay to go slow This year I ll grow a half an inch But oh, how good it is to feel being alive and to make little life for others. 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 stillWhen 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 same again.Or Ents. My father s father was a legendary grafter of trees So I was told He died a few years before I sprouted so I never knew him But my father, who had a sense of wonder at the way things worked, learned the art and so, I was able to see a peach tree that had one branch full of plums and he grafted a white dogwood to a pink one No reason Just to show he could This technique, like many mechanical things, was not passed on to the next generation Dr Suzanne Simard, who helped discover the maternal instincts in trees, describes mother trees as dominant trees widely linked to other trees in the forest through their fungal root connections These trees pass their legacy on to the next generation and exert their influence in the upbringing of the youngsters My small beech trees, which have by now been waiting for at least eighty years, are standing under the mother trees that are about two hundred years old the equivalent of forty year olds in human terms The stunted trees can probably expect another two hundred years of twiddling their thumbs before it is finally their turn The wait time is, however, made bearable Their mothers are in contact with them through their root systems, and they pass along sugar and other nutrients You might even say they are nursing their babies. My father, the occasional grafter, decided to get a mimosa tree This was odd because I grew up in a place not known for its ornamentals The houses were just a few feet apart and backyards tended to be repositories for rusting junk, chained dogs and old tires It was not a sweet smelling place But our backyard had a mimosa tree as a centerpiece Which was pretty cool for a pre adolescent boy, because you could do this the mimosa got sick and died A life lesson It was removed It was then my father decided he would like to grow figs Mimosas are tropical creeping herbs They make particularly good research subjects, because it is easy to get them a bit riled up and they are easier to study in the laboratory than trees are When they are touched, they close their feathery little leaves to protect themselves Gagliano designed an experiment where individual drops of water fell on the plants foliage at regular intervals At first, the anxious leaves closed immediately, but after a while, the little plants learned there was no danger of damage from the water droplets After that, the leaves remained open despite the drops Even surprising for Gagliano was the fact that the mimosas could remember and apply their lesson weeks later, even without further tests. I love trees, but I can not cut a 7 iron A marine chemist at the Hokkaido University discovered that leaves falling into streams and rivers leach acids into the ocean that stimulate the growth of plankton, the first and most important building block in the food chain More fish because of the forest The researcher encouraged the planting of trees in coastal areas, which did, in fact, lead to higher yields for fisheries and oyster growers. Once upon a time, when I still worked, some no goodnik lumber company decided to play fast and loose with the language in some ancient deeds and snuck onto a portion of the Allegheny National Forest or as much as you can sneak while operating very large excavating machinery and helped themselves to a heaping harvest of very tall, very old timber It became my responsibility to see what could be done about that This was very different from my usual assignments, and I ve always liked different The deeds went back to William Penn and were a twisted tale of courses and metes and bounds As part of the investigation, I was invited into the forest It was early May The guy from the Department of Natural Resources said it was an active time for timber rattlesnakes so be sure to wear high boots You know, having fun with city slickers But, oh, my boots are well traveled and the investigator who came with me was a seasoned hunter There was one person to complete our foursome a forester It is the forester that I want to talk about.The forester looked very much like the character actor, Richard Farnsworth Only with a beaten up old ball cap from some feed company on his head Kindly, yet not smiling, his face was worn and his eyes HIS EYES were sad, yet hopeful Which is hard to do He would not know how to lie.We trudged through the woods to where the loss and damage was For you can t remove large trees from the forest with heavy equipment without nicking other trees The forester showed us the slashes to the trunks and then, explaining how the injury would eventually kill the tree, he circled the circumference with his arms He was a different kind of tree hugger.The tour done, we repaired to a truck stop for lunch Big boy, buffet style We piled our plates except for the forester, who took only a vegetable or two, citing a troublesome stomach, something chronic The other two fellows were talkers, and they were trying to top each other with one wild anecdote after the other The forester said nothing, but was looking at me, I guess trying to get my measure.The other two guys went back to the buffet, I thought maybe to set some kind of record The forester and I continued to sit across the table from one another He kept looking at me even though we didn t speak It dawned on me that he was from the forest and I was not But surely there is a common ground And after many minutes, his eyes never leaving mine, he swallowed, and said, You full leaf down there yet And I looked him square and replied, Everything but the oaks And he paused, ever so slightly, and then gave me just the slightest hint of a nod And it was as if I had passed some test, some test that meant than all the tests academia and suits and skirts could ever devise And I will remember that conversation until the day I die. 3.75 If a tree falls in the forest there are other trees listening The first time I fell hard for a tree was in the Sequoia National Forest standing at the base of General Sherman I was always a treehugger in my head but at that moment I was literally a treehugger If you ve never gazed up at one of the giants you are missing out on one of the earth s wonders I don t know these people but it was wiser to post their picture than mine because it s not legal to step over that barrier and get so up close and personal though after reading this book I m wondering how the General felt about it We re talking a Jack and the Beanstalk moment here Back in the hippie days I knew people who talked to their plants, played classical music for them, and claimed there was a silent scream while trimming them back Apparently these same compassionate people suffered no remorse when they smoked them, nor did I, but I digress so let s move on.So I couldn t resist reading this after watching a fascinating PBS program called What Plants Talk About Who knew there really is a wood wide web in which trees, shrubs, and grasses exchange information My hippie friends apparently did it wasn t the THC after all I m wondering if I should re shelve Shel Silverstein s book to the non fiction section.I know, I ve told you nothing about the book because of these flashbacks but isn t it wonderful when books mess with your head If you love the natural world there really is some compelling information within and it was easy to digest a few chapters at a time The sometimes anthropomorphic language may bother the non treehuggers but it s understandable that the author did his best to make it accessible for those who might be botany challenged The writing style is sometimes repetitive and simplistic and much of this is pure ecology He champions old growth forests dear to my heart and throws in interesting tidbits like scientific discovery of the improvement in women s blood pressure, lung capacity, and arterial elasticity while walking in the forest versus excursions into town His book claimed I would never see trees the same again and that is truth But even before I read this I ve always talked to mine when they blossom and later caress the globes of fruit ripening in the sun I tell them how beautiful they are and darned if they don t give me peaches, nectarines, and plums to die for every year I also voted to legalize marijuana which no longer interests me because of W.I.N.E Those grapes are a gift and harvesting doesn t hurt the vines, i.e., no silent screams win e win e. 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, And Support Them As They Grow, Sharing Nutrients With Those Who Are Sick Or Struggling And Creating An Ecosystem That Mitigates The Impact Of Extremes Of Heat And Cold For The Whole Group As A Result Of Such Interactions, Trees In A Family Or Community Are Protected And Can Live To Be Very Old In Contrast, Solitary Trees, Like Street Kids, Have A Tough Time Of It And In Most Cases Die Much Earlier Than Those In A Group.Drawing On Groundbreaking New Discoveries, Wohlleben Presents The Science Behind The Secret And Previously Unknown Life Of Trees And Their Communication Abilities He Describes How These Discoveries Have Informed His Own Practices In The Forest Around Him As He Says, A Happy Forest Is A Healthy Forest, And He Believes That Eco Friendly Practices Not Only Are Economically Sustainable But Also Benefit The Health Of Our Planet And The Mental And Physical Health Of All Who Live On Earth.