Scientists have found that trees communicate through an ancient otherworldly network

(ORDO NEWS) — Trees talk to each other deep underground. This idea is still relatively new to science, but is well known from ancient beliefs.

Today, scientists confirm that forests act as one big superorganism. Underground, trees connect fungal highways.

Through these highways, the oldest trees nurture their young. Moreover, trees communicate and cooperate with other species. Thus, they can help each other, which is contrary to the idea of ​​selfish competition.

Yes, trees talk to each other, but how?

After millions of years of evolution starting 600 million years ago, fungi and plants have formed a symbiotic relationship called mycorrhiza. It is noteworthy that this word comes from the Greek words “mushroom” and “root”.

Here’s how it works: In exchange for the sugars and carbon they get from the trees, mushrooms provide what the trees need: minerals, nutrients, and a communication network.

Like an internet connection, the mycorrhizal network extends throughout the forest. Fungal filaments called hyphae create a highway and merge with tree roots. Trees can then send and receive elements such as:

– Nitrogen

– Sugar

– Carbon

– Phosphorus

– Water

– Security signals

– Chemical substances

– Hormones

Surprisingly, one tree can communicate with hundreds of other trees by sending out signals. Along the threads, bacteria and other microbes exchange nutrients with fungi and tree roots.

Tree network global map

In 2019, scientists began mapping this tree web on a global scale. Since then, an international study has produced the first global map of the mycorrhizal fungal network. It is important to note that this may be the most important and ancient social network on Earth.

“Mother tree” protects forests

For three decades, environmentalist Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia has studied how trees talk. After extensive experimentation, she learned how the network she calls “the other world” links life in the forests.

“Yes, trees are the foundation of the forest, but the forest is so much more than what you see,” says Simar.

“You see an otherworldly world underground, a world of endless biological pathways that connect trees, allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as if it is a single organism. It may remind you of some kind of intelligence.”

By stretching their arms along the net, the node trees, which she calls mother trees, can take care of the growing seedlings.

When old trees die, they can bequeath their nutrients, genes, and even a kind of wisdom to others. Thus, by connecting to the other world, trees receive valuable resources and understanding of the world around them.

Community sustainability

As a consequence, linked trees have a distinct advantage and resilience. However, if a tree is cut off from the net, it becomes vulnerable. Often they are exposed to diseases much more often.

Unfortunately, practices such as clearing or replacing forests with a single species destroy this complex ecosystem. Unfortunately, trees that are not connected to the community network are vulnerable to disease and bugs. As a result, cutting becomes unstable.

In a TED presentation, Simar notes:

“…Trees talk. Through talking, trees increase the resilience of the entire community. Perhaps it reminds you of our own social communities and our families, well, at least some families,” Simard said.

Ancient beliefs and trees

Today, scientists can confirm that trees communicate in a social manner. However, this idea is not new. For example, the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest, called the Tsimshian, have known for centuries that forest life is interconnected.

Suzanne Simard’s graduate student, Sm’haetsk Teresa Ryan, is a member of the Tsimshian tribe. In a recent article in the New York Times, Ryan said that Simard’s research into mycorrhizal networks is similar to Aboriginal traditions. However, European settlers quickly rejected these ideas.

“Everything is connected, absolutely everything,” Ryan said. “There are many Aboriginal groups that will tell you stories about how all species are connected in the forests, and many of them will talk about underground networks.”

Scientists have found that trees communicate through an ancient otherworldly network 3

Menominee Forest

Ryan explained how the Menominee Native American tribe is sustainably logging the 230,000 acre Menominee forest in Wisconsin. Instead of focusing on money, they focus on the environment and receive rich rewards for this.

“Resilience”, according to Menominee, means “thinking in terms of whole systems, with all their interconnections, consequences and feedback loops.”

They maintain a large, old and diverse stand, prioritizing the removal of low-quality and weakened trees over more vigorous ones, and allowing the trees to age 200 years or more – so they become what Simar would call grandmothers.”

By allowing the old growth to continue, the forest remains profitable, healthy, and densely populated today.

“More than 2.3 billion plank feet have been harvested since 1854 – almost twice as much as the entire forest – and yet there is more standing timber in the forest now than when logging began.

“Our forest may appear virgin and untouched to many.” , wrote the Menominee in one report, “Indeed, this is one of the most intensively managed forest areas in the Lake States.”

What if all forests were managed with the wisdom of the indigenous tribes? Imagine the potential if forests were always sustainable and not exploited for short term gain?

Ancient republic

As we learn more about the complex network of forests, it becomes clear that we need to change our attitude towards them.

“The destruction of the old-growth forest is not just the destruction of individual magnificent trees, it is the collapse of an ancient republic whose interspecies pact of mutual assistance and compromise is necessary for the survival of the Earth as we know it,” writes Ferris Jabr.

Today, Sir David Attenborough and thousands of scientists believe that urgent action is needed to combat the climate crisis. Forests are a fundamental component of restoration. Thus, the rebirth of the world, the restoration of forests and the wise management of them as stewards is a top priority.

“We took the trees for grants and cut down nearly half of our planet’s forests,” Attenborough said. “Fortunately, forests have an extraordinary ability to regenerate,” he explained.

After centuries of tree destruction, it is critical to preserve ancient forests. “Attenborough calls for improved agricultural practices and planting more forests as part of a much needed global recovery. In return, people will have more natural forests than ever, stabilize the climate, and have all the resources we need.”

Tree of life

In ancient beliefs from around the world, trees were seen as symbols of connection and worship: The Tree of Life.

“Trees have always been symbols of connection. In Mesoamerican mythology, a huge tree grows at the center of the universe, extending its roots into the underworld and hugging the earth and sky with its trunk and branches.

In Norse cosmology, there is a similar tree called Yggdrasil. The popular Japanese drama No tells about matrimonial pines that are forever connected to each other, despite the fact that they are separated by a huge distance,” writes Ferris Jabr for the Times.

In ancient Mesoamerica, the ceiba tree was the Tree of Life from which the world arose. Its roots went deep into the underworld, and its branches supported the heavens. In the Bible, the Garden of Eden was home to the Tree of Life.

The Egyptian myths also mention the Tree-Iskhed, where the gods were born. In ancient Assyria, artists often carved into sculpted reliefs a tree that some say looks like DNA. In all world religions, the mystical tree appears in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.

Trees have been important to cultures around the world since the beginning. Today more than ever, it is important to protect trees and our interconnected natural world.


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.