This weekend we watched Call of the Forest, the Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, a marvelous feature documentary about the formidable healing powers of trees — both psychological and physiological — and the role they play in nourishing land, air, and oceans. Biochemist and botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger guided us into “the essentials of what a tree is all about”, something she says most people have missed. She forges an expansive, holistic, science-based view of trees through visits to the Boreal forest of Canada, “forest-bathing”regions in Japan, and he Redwood forests in the United States.

In this film, I show you the great great systems of trees that are still there. There are very few of them left but they hold the same chromosome patterns, DNA patterns that you have and I have. But there’s one caveat in all of this: the DNA of a tree is greater than yours. They function in a more sophisticated manner because they can’t move around like you and I. They move toward the sun and they farm the sun…

…It is a way of thinking about this planet that you have never thought before.

We hadn’t realized that trees emit compounds that boost the immune system and provide relaxation, and that soil contains bacteria that work similarly to antidepressants, or that 60% of medicines contain tree compounds, nor that the air we breathe actually comes from trees.

If you’re not ready to watch the whole film but want just a hit, check out one of these short videos of Beresford-Kroeger. We recommend What Trees Do For Us, for an expansive view:

You can watch Call of the Forest for free here through Monday, July 15th.  But it’s a bargain to rent for $6, or buy for $16, which you can do here.

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