Forest

German Researcher Reveals the Secret Life of Trees

We're used to seeing trees as just another part of the background that surrounds us, rarely acknowledging that they too are living things that experience emotions and communicate with each other - things which allow them to survive for centuries. No, this is not yet another attempt to try to bestow non-existing qualities to inanimate objects but the claim of forester and researcher Peter Wohlleben, who has been working in the field of forest management for over 20 years in Germany and has discovered some fascinating facts about tree communities.

Trees have a very strong connection between them. Like humans and other living things, they experience emotions and communicate. Even though most of us wouldn't give this a second thought, trees lead their own exciting lives, which Wohlleben describes in his book The Hidden Life of Trees.

According to him, trees not only interact, they actually get together in couples, so to speak, and if one of the partners dies, the other experiences the same fate soon after. At the same time, a contradictory phenomenon has also been observed among trees - should a tree be cut down, leaving only a stump, the surrounding trees continue to keep it alive through their roots.

Fallen Tree

Trees also exhibit a parenting attitude toward younger trees. In their communities, the "parents" give of their own nutrients to their children via their room system, talk to them and care for them in all kinds of ways until they grow to be big and strong enough. To protect their weaker children and brothers, they bend, take on different positions, send signals to each other and secrete scents.

According to the German researcher, trees can live to old age only when they're in a group and interact. If, however, a tree is lonely, sort of like a homeless person who wanders about, and lacks the support of the others, it is at great risk of dying quickly.

Wohlleben believes that trees hide many more secrets than we humans could possibly imagine and definitely have something to teach us. They warn each other of danger, support each other during hard times and display emotions that are foreign to many of us.

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