Peter Wohlleben on the Hidden Life of Trees /67


Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Peter Wohlleben studies the social life of trees, how they rely on one another and build communities. A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it and each tree performs a specific role in the health and well being of the forest-- our tree elders have so much to teach us about relationship building and community.

Peter Wohlleben is a German forest protector and author of the best selling book The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World. After working for over 20 years in Germany's forestry commission, he drastically shifted his career from a commercial forester to a humble steward of a woodland of familial beings. Peter claimed that prior to awakening to the interconnected intelligence of the forest, "he knew about as much about the hidden life of trees as a butcher knows about the emotional life of animals."

As far as human relations with forest goes, Peter has spent time studying homosapien interdependence on trees throughout time as one that impacts our psycho-spiritual wellbeing in our daily life, no matter how “disconnected” we may feel from nature: “Going in to an old growth forest is a feeling of coming home. A good stable forest provides good feelings, lower blood pressure and has mood stabilizing properties. But when we go into tree plantations our body reacts to the unnatural and unhealthy aspect of it. These studies show that we are still part of the forest. People may think we have lost connection with nature, but in fact, we cannot lose connection with nature because it is in your body and in your genes.”

This episode is in collaboration with Geography of Hope Conference, “Finding Resilience in Nature in Perilous Time” happening March 17-18 in Point Reyes, CA. On Sunday morning March 18, attendees will take part in land-based restoration and environmental efforts with Peter Wohlleben.

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