Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees

    b7129997734has quoted3 years ago
    fairy tales of trees with human faces, trees that can talk, and sometimes walk.
    Ivanhas quoted2 years ago
    Life in the slow lane is clearly not always dull.
    b7129997734has quoted3 years ago
    fairy tales of trees with human faces, trees that can talk, and sometimes walk.
    b5832205031has quotedlast year
    The trees don’t want to take anything away from each other, and so they develop sturdy branches only at the outer edges of their crowns, that is to say, only in the direction of “non-friends.”
    MMhas quoted2 years ago
    One of the oldest trees on Earth, a spruce in Sweden, is more than 9,500 years old
    quintanillarshas quoted2 months ago
    a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.
    Andrea Fodorhas quoted2 months ago
    Do tree societies have second-class citizens just like human societies?
    Andrea Fodorhas quoted2 months ago
    tree societies have second-class citizens just like human societies?
    tleonteva36has quoted2 months ago
    But even the best baker cannot bake without water, and the same goes for a tree: without moisture, food production stops.
    Lilly Singhhas quoted6 months ago
    Wohlleben says, are thus rendered deaf and dumb. “Perhaps farmers can learn from the forests and breed a little more wildness back into their grain and potatoes,” he advocates, “so that they’ll be more talkative in the future.”
    b8452107839has quoted6 months ago
    chain is only as strong as its weakest link
    Fatiha Bmdhas quoted9 months ago
    The electrical impulses that pass through the roots of trees, for example, move at the slow rate of one third of an inch per second.
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    Boar and deer are extremely partial to beechnuts and acorns, both of which help them put on a protective layer of fat for winter. They seek out these nuts because they contain up to 50 percent oil and starch—more than any other food. Often whole areas of forest are picked clean down to the last morsel in the fall so that, come spring, hardly any beech and oak seedlings sprout. And that’s why the trees agree in advance. If they don’t bloom every year, then the herbivores cannot count on them. The next generation is kept in check because over the winter the pregnant animals must endure a long stretch with little food, and many of them will not survive. When the beeches or oaks finally all bloom at the same time and set fruit, then it is not possible for the few herbivores left to demolish everything, so there are always enough undiscovered seeds left over to sprout.
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    In the normal course of events, such survival would not be possible, because without bark the tree cannot transport sugar from its leaves to its roots. As the roots starve, they shut down their pumping mechanisms, and because water no longer flows through the trunk up to the crown, the whole tree dries out. However, many of the trees I girdled continued to grow with more or less vigor. I know now that this was only possible with the help of intact neighboring trees. Thanks to the underground network, neighbors took over the disrupted task of provisioning the roots and thus made it possible for their buddies to survive. Some trees even managed to bridge the gap in their bark with new growth, and I’ll admit it: I am always a bit ashamed when I see what I wrought back then. Nevertheless, I have learned from this just how powerful a community of trees can be. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Trees could have come up with this old craftsperson’s saying. And because they know this intuitively, they do not hesitate to help each other out
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you “help” individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren’t particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi.
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    However, colleagues from Lübeck in northern Germany have discovered that a beech forest is more productive when the trees are packed together. A clear annual increase in biomass, above all wood, is proof of the health of the forest throng.15
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    And that’s what makes the research results so astounding. The rate of photosynthesis is the same for all the trees. The trees, it seems, are equalizing differences between the strong and the weak. Whether they are thick or thin, all members of the same species are using light to produce the same amount of sugar per leaf. This equalization is taking place underground through the roots. There’s obviously a lively exchange going on down there. Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets help. Once again, fungi are involved. Their enormous networks act as gigantic redistribution mechanisms. It’s a bit like the way social security systems operate to ensure individual members of society don’t fall too far behind.14
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    Whenever the seedlings’ roots were exposed to a crackling at 220 hertz, they oriented their tips in that direction. That means the grasses were registering this frequency, so it makes sense to say they “heard” it.
    Soliloquios Literarioshas quoted9 months ago
    What negative effects? Doesn’t it sound logical that a tree will grow better if bothersome competitors are removed so that there’s plenty of sunlight available for its crown and plenty of water for its roots? And for trees belonging to different species that is indeed the case. They really do struggle with each other for local resources. But it’s different for trees of the same species. I’ve already mentioned that beeches are capable of friendship and go so far as to feed each other. It is obviously not in a forest’s best interest to lose its weaker members. If that were to happen, it would leave gaps that would disrupt the forest’s sensitive microclimate with its dim light and high humidity. If it weren’t for the gap issue, every tree could develop freely and lead its own life. I say “could” because beeches, at least, seem to set a great deal of store by sharing resources.
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