This is a fascinating book that brings loads of solid information and science to a deep love and respect for trees. It’s the perfect Christmas present for the tree-hugger in your life. 


If ever you read a book with wise old talking trees, and really wanted to believe it could be true, this is a book for you.

Forester Peter Wohlleben isn’t saying trees actually talk; that would be silly. But you will finish this book with a profound respect for trees and their sense of community, and accept that they are much more sophisticated than ever we gave them credit for.

Wohlleben has spent decades managing an old-growth forest in Germany. As a forester, he was trained to assess trees for lumber yields, but what he has learned since has turned most of what he was taught on its head.

Science is starting to look at how trees, and forests, act. There is evidence trees communicate – for example, they can warn each other of insect attack in time to set up defences – and they can recognise their own species and will help and support each other.

It’s impossible to read this without being a little awed by what trees are capable of, and horrified by how much humans have misunderstood what good tree management looks like.

I finished it wanting two things: a similar book on Australian trees, and to spend some quality time in an old-growth forest.

This book was published in September 2016.