Trees Have Social Networks, Too

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One of our long-time supporters sent us an article from the New York Times about the work of Peter Wohlleben, a German Forest Ranger who published the book, “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World.” Presenting scientific research and his own observations in highly anthropomorphic terms, the matter-of-fact Mr. Wohlleben has delighted readers with the news — long known to biologists — that trees in the forest are social beings.

Mr. Wohlleben invites readers to imagine what a tree might feel when its bark tears (“Ouch!”). “I use a very human language,” he explained. “Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people don’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘Trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean.”

This is very different than the Music of the Plants way of speaking, which aims to create a new vocabulary to describe what plants experience, but it brings up the question, “would it be easier to understand the plant world if we use human language to describe non-human emotions?” Tell us what you think in the comments.

You can read the full article on the New York Times website.

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