How Trees Talk to Each Other

Dorothy and I had the privilege of experiencing this TedTalk live in Banff at TEDSUMMIT2016 (when I gave my TedTalk), and we were amazed by what we heard!

Ecologist Suzanne Simard shows us that “a forest is much more than what you see.” Through their root systems and below-ground fungal networks, trees—even those of different species—share nutrition, cooperatively allocating their resources in light of the season and conditions. They share information, too, transmitting signals that alert their community to potential hazards, for example. Here’s the showstopper: “mother trees” nurture the young, favoring their kin over unrelated trees.

Simard proved these remarkable discoveries with thirty years of meticulous research in Canadian forests. In this TedTalk, she beautifully describes that research and its implications. Watch it, in the words of TED, to “[l]earn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees” and “to see the natural world with new eyes”—to see it eyes wide open, one might say …


What do you think? What’s your favorite TedTalk? Join the discussion and let me know. I want to hear from you!

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