Saturday, October 19, 2019

Tree Talk

Communicating conifers? Chatting chestnuts? Talking teaks? Expressive elms? Broadcasting birch trees? You bet!

After writing about Richard Powers' The Overstory, this seemed like the natural next step. One of the characters in Powers' book was deep into the science of how trees communicate with each other. In the book, this character was initially scoffed at by others based on her sentiments--which isn't surprising as it does sound rather odd. Yet there is actual science behind this line of thought.

These two videos from BBC and National Geographic do an excellent job of explaining the conceptual phenomenon of talking trees and the "Wood Wide Web."


Given the fact that intra-forest communication comes from the tallest, eldest trees, it definitely speaks (pun intended) of making sure we don't take down the oldest trees among us--even if reforesting plans are in place by planting new, younger trees. This, in turn, conveys the importance of maintaining those threes in order to maintain the resiliency and longevity of the forest.

So up until we can understand their language, we're still going to need the Lorax to speak to us for the trees!

Videos from and; Lorax photo from and tree banner from

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