Recommendo: The Hidden Life of Trees

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This amazing book by forester Peter Wohlleben will forever change the way you think about trees and the forests that they inhabit. Blending his years of personal experiences with information from groundbreaking research, Wohlleben presents a compelling case that forests are vast symbiotic networks. Through the “Wood Wide Web” – the underground network of interconnected tree roots and fungal mycelium – trees communicate with one another, share nutrients, nurture their offspring and cooperate to fend off attacks from insects and other assailants.

From the nutrient-rich soil on the forest floor to the leaf-filled canopy hundreds of feet above where the wonder of photosynthesis happens, the forest is a complex ecosystem with its own microclimate and operating system. Wohlleben breaks it all down into bite-sized chapters that are as digestible as they are wow-inducing. The only knock I have is that I now find myself distracted while riding in the forest – with one eye on the singletrack and the other on the trees.

Speaking of groundbreaking research, check out this TED Talk by Canadian scientist Dr. Suzanne Simard wherein she talks about her discovery of the Wood Wide Web. I hope the video whets your appetite for a deep dive into Wholleben’s enlightening tale.


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Author: Karl Rosengarth

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