The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben has been making headlines since its release in September 2016. Most recently, a thought-provoking article appeared in the New Statesman by John Burnside talking about the changing tide of "plant sentience" theories in the public imagination. Did you know that Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird introduced ideas of plant communication back in 1973? Now, Peter Wohlleben revisits, revises, and builds off of these ideas in a big way, and for a modern audience.
Burnside notes that Wohlleben:
explains what we know so far about how plants respond to pain and warn other plants of danger, how they nurture others in their environs and build familial kinships within the forest ecology and, perhaps most intriguingly, how they respond in sophisticated ways to seasonal changes, predators and abnormal weather events.
The article goes on to discuss nature politics, the use of metaphor in science, and plants' dedication to the "greater good of the finely balanced whole" as a few key takeaways from the book. Not only is the article well worth a read, but it suggests that we can learn something from the trees about supporting one another and the planet we depend on for our very survival.
Greystone Books would like to extend a sincere thanks to John Burnside for taking the time to write this wonderful and informative review.
Featured image credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn