Did you know that trees can talk?
They use the ‘wood wide web’ to send messages through a network of fungal threads that crisscross the forest floor. They also chat by ‘scent mail’, releasing chemicals into the air to warn other trees to defend themselves by making their leaves bitter so caterpillars won’t want to eat them, or by making themselves sticky so beetles can’t get inside their bark.
Did you know that some trees stick close to home, while others like to set off on their own?
Beech children grow slowly, deep in the shade of the forest protected by their mothers. Other trees, like alders, grow up fast and alone in open spaces, preparing the land for forest trees that might want to follow.
Did you know that little beech trees have to wait until a storm topples an ancient tree before they can grow tall?
When the sun shines in through the open space, the little trees grow to fill the gap.
Did you know there are different ways to cut down trees?
Before the invention of chain saws, two lumberjacks would stand at either end of a long saw and cut trees down by hand. Then horses would drag them out of the forest. Today, machines with long arms reach into the trees to cut them down and pile the trunks up so logging trucks can drive them away. But some people still prefer logging with horses because it is more in tune with the environment.
Did you know that a tree is as important to the forest after it is dead as when it is alive?
As the wood rots away, all the nutrients it contains are returned to the forest to be used by the next generation of trees so they, too, can grow tall and strong.
Written by the acclaimed author and forester Peter Wohlleben, Peter and the Tree Children is a wonderfully illustrated picture book that follows Piet the squirrel and his new friend, Peter the forester. Out now.