Forester Peter Wohlleben thinks trees talk to each other through their roots and fungal networks. In his new book The Hidden Life of Trees, he explains that trees can register pain, learn things, and even protect and care for each other.
Beeches and oaks form forests that last for thousands of years because they act like families. “They are genetically as far away from each other as you and a goldfish”) and ruthlessly protect their own kind," he says. “Beeches harass new species such as oak to such an extent that they weaken.”
Willows are loners. “The seeds fly far away from other trees, many kilometres. The trees grow fast and don’t live very long. They are like Usain Bolt – always the first, then they can’t breathe any more after 100 years and then they are gone.”