Peter Wohlleben (born 1964) is a German forester and author who writes on ecological themes in popular language. After graduation from forestry school in Rottenburg am Neckar, he took up a job as a government wood ranger in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1987. As he grew more familiar with the woodlands he was overseeing, he became disenchanted due to the damage caused by the techniques and technologies he was expected to employ, including the felling of mature trees and the use of insecticides.In his 2015 book about natural forests, Das geheime Leben der Bäume:Was sie fühlen, wie sie kommunizieren – die Entdeckung einer verborgenen Welt, (The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World) he takes the perspective of the trees, much as Jacques Cousteau took the perspective of the inhabitants of the oceans. Among other phenomena, this book introduces for a popular audience the “Wood-Wide Web”, through which nutrition and signals are exchanged among trees.
In 2016 he published his book Das Seelenleben der Tiere which was translated into English and published under the title The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion — Surprising Observations of a Hidden World in 2017. His 2012 book Kranichflug und Blumenuhr, was translated as The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs in 2018. His newest book The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things – Stories from Science and Observation was released in 2019.
Professionally, Wohlleben manages a beech forest on behalf of the municipality of Hümmel, Germany.
He has offered regular tours of local forests; in 2017 one is programmed for August based on The Hidden Life of Trees.