How trees talk to each other
We’ve spoken about it in many of our sessions, whether it be to adults or children or both, but it excites us to know that trees can secretly talk to each other. The world wood web is a hidden communication network that is more complex than anything we could imagine.
Deep in the ground under any woodland or forest the tree roots, bacteria and fungi connect to be able to send messages between trees. It’s scientific name is the mycorrhizal fungi network. The mycorrhiza is a symbiotic relationship between the roots of a green plant (in the case the trees) and fungi. The tree produces sugars by way of photosynthesis which feed the fungus and the fungus, in return, provides the tree with nutrients from the soil around it. However, they also serve a larger and more exciting purpose.
The world wood web, or wood wide web depending on who you’re talking to, can stretch for miles and miles. Tree roots are 1.5 times longer that the tree is tall and when trees are in close proximity, like in a woodland or forest, their roots will become intertwined. When the roots are close, their their symbiotic fungus will be close and they will share bacteria and messages. If a tree is in danger, it can send a message asking for nutritional support. These messages shoot along the network through roots and fungi and the required “help” is sent.
On the flip side, if a tree knows that it is dying, it can send out all it’s nutrients to local trees to help them. This, however, can also cause problems as disease in trees, such as Ash Die Back, can be spread it this way. Although it is also spread by fungi above ground through the movement of infected wood as well.
How do we know?
Researchers looking into tree location and growth did a lot of very scientific stuff, including writing and algorithm, and spent years mapping tree locations and how different climates affected trees and their associated organisms. The research, and subsequent “mapping” was completed in early 2019 so, this really is a breakthrough scientific finding.
It really is fascinating to read about and to see how much time and hard work went into exposing this phenomenal communication network.
Want to know more?
If you want to learn more about the amazing things that nature does and how they can help you, then please book onto one of our sessions. Places can be booked via our Facebook page. You can also read our other blogs to see what other things we have been talking about.
We love sharing our love and knowledge of nature and it’s benefits with others and hope that you can join us very soon.