Maira's Books

In January of 2005 I started this blog as a record of books I’ve read as I was afraid I would forget what I have read. I have often referred back to my own blog to remember a book's contents or see what I have read by an author. I have enjoyed passing my books on to friends or recommending books to read. I know I have missed recording some, but in general I try to keep up with what I have read or listened to.

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Location: Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I am a librarian at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (2015)

Translation from German 2016. I had heard of this book and it was on our popular reading shelf. The whole concept was interesting, but not interesting enough to finish the whole book, though I skimmed the rest of the chapters.

I really did not know that trees can communicate with each other, warn each other about predators, help each other by providing nutrients to the weak, and that the massive root structures are responsible for a lot of this. I know I have heard of huge fungi growing underground, and the fungi have an important role in forests, but the roots! I just feel I am constantly fighting with the roots of the many trees on my property, when I try to work on a flower bed - often a solid mass of roots. One of the biggest questions I had while reading this was - how in the world did they measure all this and get the data, as trees function much more slowly than we do - and more slowly than the Ents in Lord of the Rings. Another question I had, and which might have been answered in one of the chapters I did not read - What happens to the roots and fungi when a forest is cleared? Do they just rot away? I assume for a while they provide fertile soil for crops, but then with erosion and decay, it probably is much less so.

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