How do trees talk to each other?


NSFW - just to be on the safe side. Includes horror movie gore.


And I made so much fun of this.





Was that the comic book? I had a couple of issues when I was a kid.


Heh, it’s just that I think your friend had an experience with the green elementals …



Paul Stamets dubbed it “the woodwide web.”


How odd. That’s exactly how I talk to trees as well.


The first paper I read on this, which I believe was by an Australian scientist, and maybe the first work on the subject, was really great. She traced communication paths reaching for miles and connecting trees in one-to-one and one-to-many relationships.

And it turns out that 20th century timbering practices like clearcutting are not just bad for the atmosphere and the human race, they also produce inferior wood. An old growth forest is a gigantic interlinked multiple-DNA organism, that can be sustainably harvested indefinitely, that is simply murdered by the most common lumbering practices in use today. The forest that grows back is not the same and will not be comparable for millennia, because the network dies when you clearcut the trees, and all the data is lost.


i’m disappointed – i really was expecting more Treebeard references. : (


I read some of the plant communicating through root-networks research, and more, and while it was interesting I immensely disliked the metaphors and images used. Synaptics, brain, etc. - it’s really other for crank miscitation.

There’s books by a forester from the Eifel region in Germany which have been massive successes which do make it worse. It’s just pop, not even scipop literature. And I have to listen to a lot of people’s own theories about plants, influenced by this sloppy writing.

Help me, #iamabotanist.


I think such metaphors are probably inescapable, which is unfortunate since it means “popular treatments” of the papers will be even worse than usual. :frowning:

You have my sympathy!


I’m with KathyPadilla; I would not presumptively assume the trees are the entities with agency here. It’s just as likely (more likely) the mycelia are running the show, possibly just using the trees to their own ends.


This isn’t even far fetched. This is the case, as far as I remember, in lichen. From all we know of fungi - which is comparably little, in my perception - this would be no surprise.

In many cases, the fungus can survive without the plant. Other way round - not an effing chance.


We’ve seen this somewhere before. The movie Avatar


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