Both of our summer reading recommendations come from DLC Board of Directors and Treasurer and avid conservationist, Tom Watson.

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben (2015)

Wohlleben is a German forester who works for the town of Hummel.  He becomes disenchanted with commercial forestry techniques and now expounds a practice of selective cutting of young, immature trees and the cultivation of forest diversity.  This book relates his observations on microrhizal communication and nutrient transport between trees, the ability of a forest to make its own weather when under stress, the creation and maintenance of “social” even “family” networks among trees, and other arboreal relationships of mutual support.  This delicious read offers an eye-opening perspective on trees as immense creatures with very different reaction times and external networks that nonetheless rely on a variety of communication networks worthy of organisms with neural networks.

The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred (2015)

Aldred is a wildlife cameraperson for the BBC and National Geographic who makes his living climbing immensely tall trees. As in, 200′ tall trees!  There are no deep scientific insights revealed here, just a series of adventures high above the earth, creating camera platforms for the likes of David Attenborough.  If you’ve ever wondered how National Geographic got a picture of a harpy eagle nesting in a tree 180′ above the ground, this book explains. Aldred is a boy who liked to climb trees as a youth and never had to give it up.  He makes climbing forest giants seem as natural as climbing the maple tree out back.