The Hidden Life

In light of the fact we are leaf peeping on the east coast, I thought I should read the newly published book “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. The author says that trees communicate, in fact this “wood wide web” allows trees to share food, water and information. Trees are all connected, and the extent to which they grow strong and healthy depends to a great degree on how much they can depend on one another. In other words, it takes a forest”.

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He also explains “the process of a deciduous tree preparing for winter. If it drops its leaves too early, it loses valuable photosynthesizing and food production time. If it drops its leaves too late, it risks losing entire branches, made more vulnerable to high winds when in full leaf, in October and November storms. The problem of when to drop leaves is a “decision” that individual trees make differently. And considering that different trees very close to each other make the decision at various times, “the timing of the leaf drop, it seems, really is question of character.”

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And then there is this: “The average tree grows its branches out until it encounters the branch tips of a neighboring tree of the same height. It doesn’t grow any wider because the air and better light in this space are already taken. However, it heavily reinforces the branches it has extended, so you get the impression that there’s quite a shoving match going on up there. But a pair of true friends is careful right from the outset not to grow overly thick branches in each other’s direction. The trees don’t want to take anything away from each other, and so they develop sturdy branches only at the outer edges of their crowns, that is to say, only in the direction of “non-friends.” Such partners are often so tightly connected at the roots that sometimes they even die together.

 

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We decided to spend another night in Littleton and drive the “loop” today. We drove through the White Mountains along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. This was mostly National Forest land with beautiful vistas. The color is starting to change and views are fabulous.

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This is the “Grand Hotel” of the area. it is Mt. Washington Resort and is on the National Register.

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….and  of course…..covered bridges!

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