INESSA KALABEKOVA

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben is an amazing book that shows us how fascinating trees really are. I started reading it in London and finished it during a foot massage in Singapore, completely absorbed in its pages.

The book teaches us that trees, just like us, are alive and made up of cells. It explains how they communicate through networks underground and even feel things like thirst and pain. Learning this made me realize how everything on Earth is connected.

After reading, I felt inspired to learn more about trees by drawing them in the botanical garden. I want to discover the stories and myths behind these trees, and create artworks that celebrate their beauty and importance in our culture.

Excerpts from the book:

“A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannot establish a consistent local climate. It is at the
mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create an ecosystem that moderates
extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity.”

“Fungi are in between animals and plants. Their cell walls are made of chitin—a substance never
found in plants—which makes them more like insects. In addition, they cannot photosynthesize
and depend on organic connections with other living beings they can feed on.”

“There are more life forms in a handful of forest soil than there are people on the planet. A mere
teaspoonful contains many miles of fungal filaments. All these work the soil, transform it, and
make it so valuable for the trees.”

“It didn’t matter if they were studying a rain forest or the Siberian taiga, it was always the trees
that were transferring life-giving moisture into land-locked interiors.”

“Why don’t you take the test for yourself and see in what type of forest you feel most comfortable?”

“Whether we can somehow listen in on tree talk is a subject that was recently addressed in the
specialized literature.67 Korean scientists have been tracking older women as they walk through
forests and urban areas. The result? When the women were walking in the forest, their blood
pressure, their lung capacity, and the elasticity of their arteries improved, whereas an excursion
into town showed none of these changes.”

“In 1981, the German journal Gartenamt reported that 4 percent of oak deaths in one American
city happened because the trees were subjected to light every night. And what about the long
period of hibernation?”

“The main reason we misunderstand trees, however, is that they are so incredibly slow. Their
childhood and youth last ten times as long as ours. Their complete life-span is at least five times
as long as ours.”

“let’s have a bolder approach to wilderness!”

 

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