How would you feel if you knew that trees could talk? You probably would feel wrong about all the times you’ve seen one being cut down. Don’t worry too much because this is not the way they talk. But trees secretly talk to each other in the forest. Trees do it by sharing their needs through the roots.
Suzanne Simard, who gave a ted talk about how she found out that trees communicated. She was ridiculed for her idea by her colleagues before she performed the research. However, she didn’t give up, and 30 years into it, she found out that forest did communicate and tress had their language.
Unlike us, humans who use the verbal methods of communication or even social media these days, trees communicate differently.
Trees do communicate with each other’s needs through their shared roots and not only roots but scents, sounds, and signals. And it is not just one way, but the researchers have found that there is two-way communication.
In her research, Suzanne explains that trees have their communities in the forests to meet their needs. She explains how the mother trees, also known as hubs, help the younger trees in their surrounding.
In more ways, the research made us understand that trees had emotions as well. One of the findings in her experiment was that the trees would recognize their species and favor them while sharing the nutrients.
In human communities, older people share their wisdom and knowledge with the young ones. Just like humans, the experiment found that even the old trees send out messages to the younger ones before they die.
In a forest, trees communicate with each other both under and over the ground. Above the ground, they use stimuli such as to scents, sounds, and signals.
Whenever there are any pests in the forest, they interact with each other. They release chemicals to fight off these attacks. Additionally, they also share seeds through which the wind and the birds carry away.
Yes, the trees have an interconnected network of nodes. Just like how the human brain is connected with thousands of brain nerves are connected, the roots work similarly.
Scientists now try to view forests as a single organism. They share resources whenever in need and also protect each other from the diseases.
Have you ever seen wild mushrooms growing in the roots of the trees in a forest? It is a very common sight when you travel to a dense forest. It turns out; there is an actual relationship between the fungi and the trees.
Mycelium is the mushroom (fungi) roots that are underground threads. These threads can even travel up to hundreds of kilometers. These mushroom threads help the roots of different plants and trees connect.
Not only that, but the fungal root also helps the plants from infections through their protective compounds in their roots.
Perhaps we all wouldn’t be able to use scientific tools to hear or see trees communicate with each other. But we can try to understand what they do. As Suzanne Simard says in her ted talk, when we rid the forests of their hub trees, they lose their source of nutrients.
We have to understand that the forests survive because they are in a community. When we cut down trees in mass for our own needs, we are cutting down their network of communication. The trees lose their way of sharing information and nutrients.
By now, we already know the importance of trees to preserve our environment. But human beings are destroying the environment. So, by understanding this language of trees and how they communicate, we can know how we can harm them less. The trees are the source of our ecological balance, and by understanding how they talk to each other, we can help not harm their networks.
Finally, we can learn from the trees to maintain communication in our community as well. Just like the mother trees support the younger ones, we can learn to support the ones that are in need. There’s a couple who helped plant 2 million trees to restore a destroyed forest. So, we can also learn to share the resources we have to grow strong like the forest.