Peter Wohlleben, a German forest ranger and best-selling author, has learned many secrets about trees. His latest book, ‘The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries From a Secret World’ has been a runaway success.

In the book, he details the wildly complex and intriguing secret life of trees. And, yes, he believes trees have friends!

Wohlleben says trees, “…can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’ – and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots. These trees are friends. You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light. Sometimes, pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.”

Despite the book being a best seller, it has been controversial with some German biologists who question his use of language to describe life in the forest. Wohlleben says, “I use a very human language. Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people don’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘Trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean.”

With a new appreciation of trees key to our planet’s survival, Wohlleben’s work is nothing short of inspirational.

Buy the book here or read more about urban forests for the future here.