FunAstrology"The Secret Life of Trees" at 3sat

"The Secret Life of Trees" at 3sat

Do trees breastfeed their offspring? And can you compare planted forests with factory farming? Peter Wohlleben does it – and has thus advanced to “Germany’s most famous forester”.

Berlin – They are detailed shots of seeds falling from cones. Of acorns that tumble on the ground and sprout. The leaves unfold on the young shoots in fast motion. Flowers develop. Mites crawl across the ground, caterpillars eat their way along the edges of leaves.

“The diversity of animal life often takes place in the microcosm,” says successful author and forester Peter Wohlleben. “There are more living things in a handful of forest soil than there are people on earth. It is a kind of ground plankton. ”This is the beginning of the food chain in the forest and a huge recycling company.

The recordings are accompanied by meditative music. Idyllic scenes show deer nibbling on the leaves. From a bird’s eye view you can see trees in a row. She does not refer to Wohlleben as forests. But as plantations. His book “The Secret Life of Trees” made him famous. 3sat will show the one and a half hour documentary of the same name on television for the first time on Wednesday evening (8.15 p.m.). It’s a bit like the book as a film – time and again you leaf through to individual chapters, which then function as a kind of subheading.

The film, directed by Jörg Adolph and Jan Haft, is a film about the forest as well as about Wohlleben itself. The camera accompanies him to readings, walks in the woods, trips to Poland or Canada and behind the scenes on the ZDF broadcast “Markus Lanz” in conversation with the moderator.

The camera is there when he talks to researchers about whether there are brain-like structures in the tips of the roots, and when he is called to the microphone at a demonstration at Hambach Forest as “Germany’s most famous forester”.

Through all the explanations at such events, but also through explanations from the off, viewers learn all kinds of things about the forest: That you can read the age of trees not only from tree rings, but also from knots along branches. The consequences of heavy equipment in the forest. That beeches and oaks bloom as agreed within a species. So deer and wild boars could not adapt to it, that would keep the populations in check. And if all the trees in a region were in bloom at once, the animals would not be able to eat all the seeds. “How they do it has not been researched,” Wohlleben also makes open questions transparent.

At the same time, he takes up overarching issues. “You can’t look after a forest,” says the forester. Harvesting is possible. “If you want to do something for the forest, then all you can really do is refrain from sawing around there.” It depends on the right trees.

Conifers, for example, came from colder, wetter regions, he explains. Here the water shortage is too great in summer. “They’re running out of spit.” Most conifers in Germany would disappear in the next 20 years, he says with a view to global warming. And he emphasizes: “If we want to use forests as a means of combating climate change, then we have to let them grow old.”

It is something like Wohlleben’s mission: the fight for the forests. He has now published numerous books, and you can subscribe to a magazine bearing his name. Burning forests in the US, Wohlleben is asked as an expert. But some also accuse him of mythologizing the forest and blaming only forestry for the threat to the trees. “There has always been criticism of me from conservative forest science,” Wohlleben once said. Some think it’s good, others don’t.

In the documentary, too, he addresses the fact that he humanizes trees and forests. He says, for example, that they breastfeed their offspring, that they stand together like families. Then again he compares established forests with factory farming. Says the plants grew up without parents. If you find this too irrelevant, you should switch. dpa

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