Did you know that trees talk to each other?!

From the biggest and oldest trees forming the canopy to the shrubberies and seedlings in the understory, there is a language that sustains a forest.

And it is incredible.

Breakthrough science and DNA micro-satellite have revealed fungus roots connecting the tree in the undergrounds. It’s an unfathomably complex network where fungus roots transmit carbon, nutrients and water from one tree to another. That is no different to people transmitting messages through the internet.

We used to think that forests were about the ‘survival of the fittest’ that trees are constantly vying for sunlight. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The oldest and biggest trees are the ‘mother trees’, and they play their role as the mother of all for the well-being of the forest. They nurture seedlings in the understory, and can even distinguish between strangers and their kins to whom they nourish with additional carbon.

‘Mother trees’ are represented by largest (and darkest) nodes, and has the most connections in the forest. (‘Nature’s Internet’ image by Prof. Suzanne Simard forest ecology, University of British Colombia)

Across species, if fir is too small or in shade, birch would send it more water and nutrients, and when one is under duress it warns the neighborhood and together -like tight-knit tapestry- the trees produce more protective enzymes to help pick up the fallen one.

It is truly a free public health care system!

In this way, trees have surpassed our mankind in certain regards. While we deem ourselves to be more progressive than ever before with our great machines, we have failed to come together to resolve major issues like world hunger, or climate change.

As a species among nature, we have considered ourselves somehow separate and above it. And by taking nature for granted, we have severed our roots to higher meaning of life and existence.

Perhaps there is yet something we could learn from the powerful forests. In the great sheltering crowns where trees are able to put aside their differences, are able to give way to one another and even to make sacrifices for others for the prosperity of the community.

Perhaps there is a great lesson to be had: that in nature there is no bigotry, only reciprocity.

Let’s reconnect ourselves to the network, and become part of the conversation.

By Gray, L

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