[ View menu ]

Quick Review: The Hidden Life of Trees

Reading this book shortly after Brilliant Green probably made me have an even better opinion of it, since it’s so much better. The author presents a lot of information at a rapid pace, but to some extent also wraps it in a narrative and helps the reader draw some mental images that make it that much easier to read and understand. Also, while making connections and returning to various matters when appropriate, he doesn’t dwell on any one issue, avoids “preaching” and, in fact, doesn’t insist on conclusions or interpretations. They do exist, but they’re usually just mentioned briefly, along with either a reference to either a study or a personal experience that supports them, or with the statement that they’re merely personal opinions, and then the author moves on.
The overall picture is rather sad, for both trees and people. In some ways, like understanding how hurt most trees are and how many are dying for periods ranging between years and centuries before they can no longer hold on, that’s unavoidable, since that’s life. And the unpleasant feelings generated by truly understanding that any proper rewilding, or in fact even the growth of pretty much any tree that actually develops properly, can’t be observed in one lifetime, and perhaps not even over a few generations, should likely be fought against, because they’re the result of selfishness. But seeing those periods of time as how long it’ll take to fix the damage and understanding how doomed and potentially harmful even well-intentioned efforts, like planting trees or creating urban green spaces, usually are is a painful reminder of how hopeless the situation is.
Otherwise, I find little to complain about when it comes to the book itself, except perhaps that it focuses too much on local matters and experiences but is presented as generally applicable. However, the translated edition that I read could have been adapted to some extent and it wasn’t, plus that there were a handful of obvious translation mistakes, so I wonder how many others I failed to notice.

Rating: 4/5


No comments

RSS feed Comments | TrackBack URI

Write Comment

Note: Any comments that are not in English will be immediately deleted.

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>