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dynamo
15th March 2018, 12:10
A massive web of hair-like mushroom roots transmit secret messages between trees, triggering them to share nutrients and water with those in need.

by Sara Burrows

Like humans, trees are extremely social creatures, utterly dependent on each other for their survival. And, as it is with us, communication is key.

After scientists discovered pine tree roots could transfer carbon to other pine tree roots in a lab, ecology professor Suzanne Simard set out to figure out how they did it.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LGJ9CjbD1Ss/WqjreW2IDEI/AAAAAAAAtd0/DuzeXXFgdfc9wpqqZRMOnejhge_MjGEegCLcBGAs/s1600/Trees%2BTalk%2Bto%2BEach%2BOther.jpg

What she discovered was a vast tangled web of hair-like mushroom roots — an information super highway allowing trees to communicate important messages to other members of their species and related species, such that the forest behaves as “a single organism.”

The idea that trees could share information underground was controversial. Some of Simard’s colleagues thought she was crazy.

The Experiment

Having trouble finding research funding, she eventually set out to conduct the experiments herself, planting 240 birch, fir and cedar trees in a Canadian forest.

She covered the seedlings with plastic bags and filled them with various types of carbon gas.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1sgsfi2pVig/WqjsDTLaY8I/AAAAAAAAtd8/t1qwrVLjvEw7ImR_5HztmjWckh0K58YwQCLcBGAs/s1600/Trees%2BTalk%2Bto%2BEach%2BOther%2B-%2Bexperiment.jpg

An hour later she took the bags off, ran her Geiger counter over their leaves and heard “the most beautiful sound,” she says in the Ted Talk embedded below:

“Crrrrr… It was the sound of Birch talking to Fir,” she said.

“Birch was saying, ‘hey, can I help you?'”

“And Fir was saying yeah, can you send me some of your carbon? Somebody threw a shade cloth over me.”

She also scanned the cedar’s leaves, and as she suspected — silence. The cedar was in its own world. It was not connected into the fungal web linking birches and firs.

The birch and fir were in a “lively two-way conversation,” Simard says

When the fir was shaded by the birch in summer, the birch sent more carbon to it. When the birch was leafless in the winter, the fir sent more carbon to it.

The two trees were totally interdependent, Simard discovered, “like yin and yang.”

That’s when Simard knew she was onto something big… In the past, we assumed trees were competing with each other for carbon, sunlight, water and nutrients. But Simard’s work showed us trees were also cooperators.

They communicate by sending mysterious chemical and hormonal signals to each other via the mycelium, to determine which trees need more carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon, and which trees have some to spare, sending the elements back and forth to each other until the entire forest is balanced.

“The web is so dense there can be hundreds of kilometers of mycelium under a single foot step,” Simard says.

The mycelium web connects mother trees with baby trees, allowing them to feed their young.

A single mother tree can provide nourishment for hundreds of smaller trees in the under-story of her branches, she says.

Mother trees even recognize their kin, sending them more mycelium and carbon annd reducing their own root size to make room for their babies.

This new understanding of tree communication had Simard worried about the implications of clear-cutting.

When mother trees are injured or dying, they send their wisdom onto the next generation. They can’t do this is if they are all wiped out at once.

“You can take out one or two hub trees, but there comes a tipping point, if you take out one too many, the whole system collapses,” she says.

Often clear-cut forests are replanted with only one or two species. “These simplified forests lack complexity making them vulnerable to infection and bugs.”

To ensure the survival of the planet’s lungs at a time when they are most crucial, Simard suggests four simple solutions to end the damage caused by clear cutting :

1. Get out in the forest more — this in and of itself will remind us how interdependent we are on this ecosystem.

2. Save old growth forests as repositories of genes, mother trees and mycelium networks.

3. Where we do cut, save the “legacy” trees so they can pass on important information to the next generation.

4. Regenerate cut patches with diverse native species

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un2yBgIAxYs

(source: http://humansarefree.com/2018/03/experiment-trees-talk-to-each-other-and.html)

Valerie Villars
15th March 2018, 12:33
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.

Sunny-side-up
15th March 2018, 13:09
I had read that trees can help protect each other by spreading knowledge of leaf damage.
A tree can tell other trees of infection and so take action to guard your selves.

Sunny-side-up
15th March 2018, 13:13
It is becoming harder and harder to coexist in this material dimension :(

This is why we need to live in compassion, that way our daily actions are better forgiven :)

dynamo
15th March 2018, 13:32
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I don't think cedar are (naturally) from the same regions as fir and birch...

Flash
15th March 2018, 14:21
What a woderful research and mostly wonderful researcher. So convinced of the usefulness and necessity of her research that she paid ftom her own pockets, not being able to get funding (i hope she has been repaid in view of the fantastic results.

But we, here, knew that all life is related.

A side comment: her family name is from Quebec. Even if she works in British Columbia, i can recognise the genetic facial features in her face: nose, mouth, cheeks, very fine hair, even the voice. All arrange the way they are, I would have recognized them worldwide.

As I always can pinpoint a French Canadian anywhere in the world from the way they walk (walking gate is mainly cultural not genetic, from my observations, while facial features are mainly genetic). This is very interesting - I could even tell from which surname family group there is 3 main branches of Simard) she is from. As we can relate trees to their mother’s

Hervé, you will understand.

A massive web of hair-like mushroom roots transmit secret messages between trees, triggering them to share nutrients and water with those in need.

by Sara Burrows

Like humans, trees are extremely social creatures, utterly dependent on each other for their survival. And, as it is with us, communication is key.

After scientists discovered pine tree roots could transfer carbon to other pine tree roots in a lab, ecology professor Suzanne Simard set out to figure out how they did it.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LGJ9CjbD1Ss/WqjreW2IDEI/AAAAAAAAtd0/DuzeXXFgdfc9wpqqZRMOnejhge_MjGEegCLcBGAs/s1600/Trees%2BTalk%2Bto%2BEach%2BOther.jpg

What she discovered was a vast tangled web of hair-like mushroom roots — an information super highway allowing trees to communicate important messages to other members of their species and related species, such that the forest behaves as “a single organism.”

The idea that trees could share information underground was controversial. Some of Simard’s colleagues thought she was crazy.

The Experiment

Having trouble finding research funding, she eventually set out to conduct the experiments herself, planting 240 birch, fir and cedar trees in a Canadian forest.

She covered the seedlings with plastic bags and filled them with various types of carbon gas.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1sgsfi2pVig/WqjsDTLaY8I/AAAAAAAAtd8/t1qwrVLjvEw7ImR_5HztmjWckh0K58YwQCLcBGAs/s1600/Trees%2BTalk%2Bto%2BEach%2BOther%2B-%2Bexperiment.jpg

An hour later she took the bags off, ran her Geiger counter over their leaves and heard “the most beautiful sound,” she says in the Ted Talk embedded below:

“Crrrrr… It was the sound of Birch talking to Fir,” she said.

“Birch was saying, ‘hey, can I help you?'”

“And Fir was saying yeah, can you send me some of your carbon? Somebody threw a shade cloth over me.”

She also scanned the cedar’s leaves, and as she suspected — silence. The cedar was in its own world. It was not connected into the fungal web linking birches and firs.

The birch and fir were in a “lively two-way conversation,” Simard says

When the fir was shaded by the birch in summer, the birch sent more carbon to it. When the birch was leafless in the winter, the fir sent more carbon to it.

The two trees were totally interdependent, Simard discovered, “like yin and yang.”

That’s when Simard knew she was onto something big… In the past, we assumed trees were competing with each other for carbon, sunlight, water and nutrients. But Simard’s work showed us trees were also cooperators.

They communicate by sending mysterious chemical and hormonal signals to each other via the mycelium, to determine which trees need more carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon, and which trees have some to spare, sending the elements back and forth to each other until the entire forest is balanced.

“The web is so dense there can be hundreds of kilometers of mycelium under a single foot step,” Simard says.

The mycelium web connects mother trees with baby trees, allowing them to feed their young.

A single mother tree can provide nourishment for hundreds of smaller trees in the under-story of her branches, she says.

Mother trees even recognize their kin, sending them more mycelium and carbon annd reducing their own root size to make room for their babies.

This new understanding of tree communication had Simard worried about the implications of clear-cutting.

When mother trees are injured or dying, they send their wisdom onto the next generation. They can’t do this is if they are all wiped out at once.

“You can take out one or two hub trees, but there comes a tipping point, if you take out one too many, the whole system collapses,” she says.

Often clear-cut forests are replanted with only one or two species. “These simplified forests lack complexity making them vulnerable to infection and bugs.”

To ensure the survival of the planet’s lungs at a time when they are most crucial, Simard suggests four simple solutions to end the damage caused by clear cutting :

1. Get out in the forest more — this in and of itself will remind us how interdependent we are on this ecosystem.

2. Save old growth forests as repositories of genes, mother trees and mycelium networks.

3. Where we do cut, save the “legacy” trees so they can pass on important information to the next generation.

4. Regenerate cut patches with diverse native species

The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature's Great Connectors


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un2yBgIAxYs

(source: http://humansarefree.com/2018/03/experiment-trees-talk-to-each-other-and.html)

Cardillac
15th March 2018, 18:15
if one is interrested in this topic please read an extremely interresting book by the German forrester/later author Peter Wohleben entitled "Das Geheime Leben der Bäume"/"The Secret Life of Trees" which has been translated into English- it dove-tails perfectly with the '70's book "The Secret Life of Plants"-

in Wohleben's book he describes how trees (among many other things about trees) nuture younger trees (obviously takes a long time), some don't get along with their neighbors (just like us human beings) and if attacked by vermin will send a scent downwind to warn other trees of the attack so the trees downwind will develop a sap/scent to ward off the intruders- fascinating book-

please continue to stay well all-

Larry

DeDukshyn
15th March 2018, 21:04
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I don't think cedar are (naturally) from the same regions as fir and birch...

Cedars are snobs -- way too good to talk to lowly birches. ;)

Praxis
15th March 2018, 23:06
if one is interrested in this topic please read an extremely interresting book by the German forrester/later author Peter Wohleben entitled "Das Geheime Leben der Bäume"/"The Secret Life of Trees" which has been translated into English- it dove-tails perfectly with the '70's book "The Secret Life of Plants"-

in Wohleben's book he describes how trees (among many other things about trees) nuture younger trees (obviously takes a long time), some don't get along with their neighbors (just like us human beings) and if attacked by vermin will send a scent downwind to warn other trees of the attack so the trees downwind will develop a sap/scent to ward off the intruders- fascinating book-

please continue to stay well all-

Larry

I want to second this book. I recently read it. It is kind of dry like an academic book but the information is very interesting.

It really changed the way that I view trees. Now when I see a tree in the city I feel bad for the poor lonely tree with no one to talk to.

The Freedom Train
16th March 2018, 02:58
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.

First of all, thanks so much for this post dynamo, I love trees so much! They are such amazing beings!

Once, when I was in the woods with my friend, we sat down for a rest, and I sat at the base of this beautiful tree with silvery, shaggy bark. I relaxed against the tree, and felt this enormous release of energy, as if the dense energies were being sucked right out of me, down into the ground beneath me. Then, I felt a wonderful sense of peace and joy, and a mildly buzzy, tingly energy that was very lovely to experience. I knew that the tree had done energetic clearing work on me. I was so grateful that I would go back to visit it and leave it presents, burn sage for it, give it hugs and praise.

I also love to make sculptural installations in the woods for the faeries with found natural objects, many of them beings bits of wood. I have a personal collection of pieces at home that I feel have been gifted to me, and many of them happen to be from the cedar. Cedars seems to have a very magical, shamanic energy about them. So for that reason, perhaps the cedar was in its own world because it was engaged in some inter-dimensional exploration!!

xoxo
Elizabeth :)

onawah
16th March 2018, 05:13
There is another, older thread here dedicated to trees: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?84810-The-Divine-Consciousness-of-Trees-Metatron-channeled-by-James-Tyberonn&p=996632#post996632

Richard S.
16th March 2018, 10:23
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I don't think cedar are (naturally) from the same regions as fir and birch...

Cedars are snobs -- way too good to talk to lowly birches. ;)

As the maples want more sunlight but the oaks ignore their pleas...

leavesoftrees
17th March 2018, 11:00
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I also love to make sculptural installations in the woods for the faeries with found natural objects, many of them beings bits of wood. I have a personal collection of pieces at home that I feel have been gifted to me, and many of them happen to be from the cedar. Cedars seems to have a very magical, shamanic energy about them. So for that reason, perhaps the cedar was in its own world because it was engaged in some inter-dimensional exploration!!

xoxo
Elizabeth :)

Have you got an photos you can share of your installations?

onawah
17th March 2018, 17:07
When You Give a Tree an Email Address
The city of Melbourne assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees
ADRIENNE LAFRANCE JUL 10, 2015
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/07/when-you-give-a-tree-an-email-address/398210/?utm_source=fbb

“My dearest Ulmus,” the message began.

“As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.”

This is an excerpt of a letter someone wrote to a green-leaf elm, one of thousands of messages in an ongoing correspondence between the people of Melbourne, Australia, and the city’s trees.

Officials assigned the trees ID numbers and email addresses in 2013 as part of a program designed to make it easier for citizens to report problems like dangerous branches. The “unintended but positive consequence,” as the chair of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio, Councillor Arron Wood, put it to me in an email, was that people did more than just report issues. They also wrote directly to the trees—everything from banal greetings and questions about current events to love letters and existential dilemmas. “The email interactions reveal the love Melburnians have for our trees,” Wood said.

City officials shared several of the tree emails with me, but redacted the names of senders to respect their privacy.

To: Golden Elm, Tree ID 1037148

21 May 2015

I’m so sorry you're going to die soon. It makes me sad when trucks damage your low hanging branches. Are you as tired of all this construction work as we are?

To: Algerian Oak, Tree ID 1032705

2 February 2015

Dear Algerian oak,

Thank you for giving us oxygen.

Thank you for being so pretty.

I don’t know where I’d be without you to extract my carbon dioxide. (I would probably be in heaven) Stay strong, stand tall amongst the crowd.

You are the gift that keeps on giving.

We were going to speak about wildlife but don't have enough time and have other priorities unfortunately.

Hopefully one day our environment will be our priority.

Some of the messages have come from outside of Melbourne—including this message, written from the perspective of a tree in the United States:

To: Oak, Tree ID 1070546

11 February 2015

How y’all?

Just sayin how do.

My name is Quercus Alba. Y’all can call me Al. I’m about 350 years old and live on a small farm in N.E. Mississippi, USA. I’m about 80 feet tall, with a trunk girth of about 16 feet. I don't travel much (actually haven’t moved since I was an acorn). I just stand around and provide a perch for local birds and squirrels.

Have good day,

Al

Melbourne’s email-a-tree service is one in a litany of municipal projects aimed at leveraging personal and institutional technologies to keep cities running smoothly. In Chicago, there’s a text-based pothole tracker. In Honolulu, you can adopt a tsunami siren.


These sorts of initiatives encourage civic engagement and perhaps help with city maintenance, but they also enable people’s relationship with their city to play out at the micro level. Why have a favorite park when you can have a favorite park bench?

It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren’t just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too. The experience of chatting with a robot or emailing a tree may be delightful, but it’s not really unusual.

The move toward the Internet of Things only encourages the sense that our objects are not actually things but acquaintances. This phenomenon isn’t entirely new: The urge to talk back to devices and appliances dates at least to the broadcast era. (As television ownership became common in the 20th century, newspaper columnists marveled at the new national pastime of shouting back at the television set.)

The surprising thing in the case of email-equipped trees, though, is that some of the people who have sent messages have received replies. Like this correspondence between a student and a green leaf elm:

To: Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165

29 May 2015

Dear Green Leaf Elm,

I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk about as we don't have a lot in common, you being a tree and such. But I’m glad we’re in this together.

Cheers,
F


29 May 2015

Hello F,

I do like living here.

I hope you do well in your exams. Research has shown that nature can influence the way people learn in a positive way, so I hope I inspire your learning.

Best wishes,

Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165

There was also this exchange between a person curious about biology and a willow leaf peppermint:

To: Willow Leaf Peppermint, Tree ID 1357982

29 January 2015

Willow Leaf Peppermint, Tree ID 1357982

Hello Mr Willow Leaf Peppermint, or should I say Mrs Willow Leaf Peppermint?

Do trees have genders?

I hope you've had some nice sun today.

Regards

L

30 January 2015

Hello

I am not a Mr or a Mrs, as I have what's called perfect flowers that include both genders in my flower structure, the term for this is Monoicous. Some trees species have only male or female flowers on individual plants and therefore do have genders, the term for this is Dioecious. Some other trees have male flowers and female flowers on the same tree. It is all very confusing and quite amazing how diverse and complex trees can be.

Kind regards,

Mr and Mrs Willow Leaf Peppermint (same Tree)

One letter writer ended up talking politics with a red cedar:

Western Red Cedar, Tree ID 1058295

1 July 2015

Hi Tree,

Are you worried about being affected by the Greek debt crisis? Should Greece be allowed to stay in the European Union?

Regards,

Troy

2 July 2015

Hi Troy,

I seem to remember the Greeks razed you to the ground one time—are you still angry at them?

Greece is not out of the woods yet, but may be out of the EU….Some say that they should be allowed to devalue their currency in order to recover their economy, but the EU will not allow them to do that. Some say that it is partly the austerity program, which has made it this bad. They say austerity was a disaster for Russia after the breakup of the Soviet Union and for the recovery of Asia from the GFC…

I don’t know, but then I’m only a tree.

Regards,

Western Red Cedar

The trees I have loved do not have email addresses. But if they did, I might take the time to remark on the lovely crook of one question-mark-shaped branch, and the softness of summer maple leaves dappling four o’clock sunlight onto my desk.

“Dear 1037148,” wrote one admirer to a golden elm in May. “You deserve to be known by more than a number. I love you. Always and forever.”

onevoice
17th March 2018, 17:41
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I don't think cedar are (naturally) from the same regions as fir and birch...

Cedars are snobs -- way too good to talk to lowly birches. ;)

As the maples want more sunlight but the oaks ignore their pleas...

I've read many years ago that oak trees are energy suckers, whereas evergreens like pine trees and cedars give off healing energies. When we had our house built in FL, the builder mandated at least one oak tree per lot. After the closing inspection, we had a landscape company remove it and we replaced it with several fruit trees in the backyard. We have a big oak tree between one neighbor's lot and our lot, we don't like it at all. The neighbor on the other side removed his many years ago due to it starting to cause issue with the foundation of his house. Another issue is that the oak trees tend to collect Spanish moss and together create creepy vibe.

For the 1st 10 years we were here, the land behind our house was undeveloped and was populated with pine trees. It provided a peaceful vibrant environment for us. After that a developer came in and cleared out all the trees and developed the tract. It was very disruptive with the new development, my wife was upset for long time when the development started. We planted shrubs to provide privacy, but our home has now lost the peaceful vibe it once had.

Orph
17th March 2018, 20:36
If I could send a message to all those who live in the city of Melbourne it would be:

--- Don't just "e-mail the tree". Talk to the trees. I mean literally, use your voice, speak, and tell the trees how you feel. ---

In fact, I would encourage everybody to not only talk to the trees, but all of nature. The more you do this, the more you will believe you are a true part of nature.

The Freedom Train
18th March 2018, 01:46
Have you got an photos you can share of your installations?

Alas I do not have many pictures any more of my faerie artwork. My laptop was stolen several years ago, which is where I has stored (and foolishly not backed up) all of my photography. Also, there were many things I did that I never took pictures of.

Still, I have some pictures that I managed to save, which I had uploaded to a website and was able to retrieve, and others I have taken since. I tried to upload a bunch on my profile, but many of them did not work for some reason. Here is a link to an album with a choice few that did.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/album.php?albumid=1039

:)

leavesoftrees
18th March 2018, 10:35
If I could send a message to all those who live in the city of Melbourne it would be:

--- Don't just "e-mail the tree". Talk to the trees. I mean literally, use your voice, speak, and tell the trees how you feel. ---

In fact, I would encourage everybody to not only talk to the trees, but all of nature. The more you do this, the more you will believe you are a true part of nature.

Unfortunately this is just a stunt, and while people are encouraged to email trees, the state government has axed approx 100 mature (more than a 120 year old) European elm and plane trees to build a metro tunnel and station. Any other city would have tunnelled as deep as necessary to preserve this magnificent avenue of trees, - but not Melbourne.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-11/national-heritage-listing-fails-to-save-st-kilda-road-trees/9420174

¤=[Post Update]=¤



Have you got an photos you can share of your installations?

Alas I do not have many pictures any more of my faerie artwork. My laptop was stolen several years ago, which is where I has stored (and foolishly not backed up) all of my photography. Also, there were many things I did that I never took pictures of.

Still, I have some pictures that I managed to save, which I had uploaded to a website and was able to retrieve, and others I have taken since. I tried to upload a bunch on my profile, but many of them did not work for some reason. Here is a link to an album with a choice few that did.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/album.php?albumid=1039

:)


probably the faeries didn't want any record kept of what you had given to them.

shaberon
30th April 2018, 01:55
Interesting that the cedar was in it's own world. I wonder why.
I don't think cedar are (naturally) from the same regions as fir and birch...

Cedars are snobs -- way too good to talk to lowly birches. ;)

In North America, what we call a Cedar, is not one. It is actually a Juniper. Cedars are really Pines which have developed in only four or five places in the world: Atlas mountains, Lebanon, Cyprus, Himalayas...maybe one more. So I'm guessing it was Juniper that failed to communicate.