In the book, The Secret Network of Nature, Peter Wahlleben brings knowledge and experience to deepen our understanding of how plants, animals, rivers, rocks, and weather systems cooperate in a balance that is essential to life.
From the fight for every ray of sunlight, through photosynthesis and through cooperation within the ecosystem, he brings us into the world he knows. He invites us to take time to really understand the energy and time it takes to become a mighty tree. Once you do, you will not be able to pass a tree without being amazed.
“A mature beech, for example, contains up to 13 tonnes of wood, which if burned, would release about 42 million kilo calories of energy.”2 For comparison, a person burns about 2,000 kilo calories a day. “This means that a mature beech stores enough solar energy to feed a person for forty years – if the human gut were able to digest wood.”3 “A forest ecosystem, then, is basically an enormous storehouse of energy.”4
Trees are the biggest plants on earth and are essential for life. Trees are a rich resource that give us oxygen, store carbon, provide shade, stabilize soil, support animal life, provide building materials, and some have medicinal properties.
Research shows that being around trees and green space lowers your blood pressure, slows your heart rate, and reduces stress.
It is time to love the trees and find ways to protect them and create new space for them. Individual efforts count; every person can make a difference.
Thankfully in Atlanta, we have additional ways to support our trees. Tree Atlanta (treeatalanta.org) is dedicated to protecting Atlanta’s urban forest through planting, conservation, and education. This gives people an additional way to support our trees. Founded in 1985, Trees Atlanta works tirelessly to address Atlanta’s tree loss, protect its forests, and create new green space. Empowered by volunteers, Trees Atlanta serves the metro Atlanta area, and has grown to become one of Atlanta’s most widely known and supported non-profit organizations.
The Secret Network of Nature
The Delicate Balance of All Living Things
By Peter Wohlleben