Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Story - The Hidden Life Of Trees

I read this book recently, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. It's been translated into English from German so it's very European-focussed with most of the trees mentioned completely unfamiliar to me, and yet it was an interesting book.

He's presenting trees in a very anthropomorphic way and many examples are related human health, or human life, or human habits. In the beginning it kind of grated on me, but by the end I could see his purpose - or at least I think it's his purpose!

He's trying to make people love tress, as they love fluffy animals. He's trying to save trees by giving them human attributes so we can relate to them and ensure their existence.

He's saying that trees have such a huge life-span that our lifetime is almost an infinitesimal blip in their 'thoughts'. He's showing examples of inter-tree communication and support, to encourage people not to grow the single tree in an isolated location, but to look at trees as 'herd-animals'.

It was a nifty approach and by the end I thought he was clever in trying to get people to see trees in this way.

I love trees and I've despaired a few times at how many have been cut down around me as people "protect" their homes and lives. I've very happy to co-exist with trees. A few have fallen near me over my lifetime, and sure it scares the heck out of me at the time, but I've been really lucky to never have had any huge disaster from fallen trees or branches. Maybe I would feel differently had this not been the case.

Anyway, this book gave me an interesting read, produced a lot of strange ideas for stories, and gave me an interesting way to look at bringing science messages to people. I enjoyed it.

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