Hello and welcome. Today I have a review for a non-fiction book from the Sunday Times Bestseller, Peter Wohllenben, The Power of Trees.
TREES CAN SURVIVE without humans, but we can’t live without trees. Even if human-caused climate change devastates our planet, trees will return—as they do, always and everywhere, even after ice ages, catastrophic fires, destructive storms, and deforestation. It would just be nice if we were around to see them flourish.
The Power of Trees is forester Peter Wohlleben’s follow-up to The Hidden Life of Trees, a Sunday Times bestseller that sold millions of copies worldwide. In his latest book, he is dismissive of token gestures in terms of tree planting. Just as he compared forest trees to ‘families’ and urban trees to ‘street urchins’ in his first book, in The Power of Trees he uses equally powerful metaphors to compare tree planting to battery farming (‘Switching to fast-growing species and breeding trees for desired traits brought results like those achieved by factory farming: individuals ready for harvest at a young age, all with a relatively uniform carcass weight.’). However, he also joyfully describes trees determination to survive, describing seedlings breaking through the earth where you least expect them, as ‘stalwart tree children’.
This latest work is as fascinating and eye-opening as it is trenchant in its critique: on the one hand, Wohlleben describes astonishing discoveries about how trees pass knowledge down to succeeding generations and their ability to survive climate change; on the other, he is unsparing in his criticism of those who wield economic and political power—who plant trees exclusively for the sake of logging and virtue signaling—even as they ruthlessly exploit nature. The Power of Trees is a love letter to the forest and a passionate argument for protecting nature’s boundless diversity, not only for the sake of trees, but also for us.
As a huge nature lover, I was really looking forward to this book. I really enjoyed reading The Power of Trees and found that Peter included a lot of new and fresh information I was not aware of before.
Peter sets forward a lot of debate and arguments from different points and perspectives while showing how resilient the tree is but also how detrimental it would be for us to lose them.
There are some scientific elements to the book that are explained in a really easy way by Peter so that the average person, like me, who knows very little about science, doesn’t get lost in it all.
All in all, Peter uses his passion to put his point across while remaining positive and hopeful that things can change if we choose to pay more attention and look after these grand plants.
About The Author
Peter Wohllenben is one of the world’s most notable foresters and a passionate advocate for tree conservation. Wohlleben lives in Germany, where he manages an ecologically conscious forest and runs an academy for education and advocacy. His books are bestsellers around the world. He speaks fluent English and will be In the UK 22-24 April 2023 to launch the book at the Cambridge Literary Festival and at The Linnean Society in London and available for further Interviews.
Thanks for reading.