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Earth Matters

Earth Matters: Learn About ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’

Earth Matters focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living. 

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by Juliana Roth

Fall in the Hudson Valley might laser our attention on changing foliage, but have you ever wondered what’s going on inside of a tree? What you might learn if you studied their root systems under the earth? How do these processes mirror our own? Are the trees themselves having thoughts?

That’s just what author Peter Wohlleben wanted to figure out. “When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children, then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with larger machines,” he writes in The Hidden Life of Trees, now adapted as a documentary directed by  Jan Haft and Jorg Adolf. The film will stream locally from October 8th with Rivertown Film Society. Tickets are available in advance with 48 hours to watch the film after purchase.

While much of Wohlleben’s analysis reflects indigneous knowledge and ways of relating to the earth, his writing blends current scientific research and the practice of truly loving and being in tune with the land. This is accomplished through his personal narrative, which guides the structure of the film.

Wohlleben believes tree family interactions offer human society and social systems a lesson: trees in the family community system protect each other and older trees only age because of this belonging. Lone trees often die off, and parent trees continue to nurture and check for their offspring, and in fact all of these ecological processes are very much tied to our own. The film’s argument connects to themes raised earlier in the year with the film society’s screening of Stray, a documentary exploring nonhuman animal life, rights, and consciousness through the lens of a stray dog population cared for by citizens.

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Along with going deeper into their ecological understanding, viewers can expect to travel to Germany, Poland, Sweden and Vancouver. A discussion on Zoom will be announced soon with a moderator from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County.

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Read Earth Matters every Saturday on Nyack News And Views, or sign up for the Earth Matters mailing list.

Earth Matters is a weekly feature that focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling, and healthy living. This weekly series is brought to you by Julie Wendholt, Financial Advisor & Vice President of Pell Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC.


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