Are Trees Sentient Beings? Certainly, Says German Forester
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Posted by: Dana Walker
As a student in forestry school, Peter Wohlleben was trained to look at trees exclusively as an
economic commodity. But after joining a German forestry agency and managing a community forest, he soon became disillusioned with practices like clear-cutting, chemical use, and mechanical harvesting that put short-term profits before sustainability.
Wohlleben was eventually hired by the local mayor to look after the same forest in an eco-friendly way. Today, he manages the forest without using insecticides or heavy machinery, and the trees are harvested by hand and hauled out by horses. He also has started a “living gravestone” project in which townspeople pay the equivalent of the commercial value of an ancient tree to have their ashes interred at its base. The woodland has gone from a money-losing operation to a profitable one.