Trees share and communicate through underground networks!

Dr. Suzanne Simard

Dr. Simard, a forester specializing in the study of underground root communities has invested her energies in understanding the silent ways trees relate to each other in wide-spanning forest networks.

Dr. Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada found one of the first pieces of evidence where Douglas fir and paper birch trees can transfer carbon between them via mycelia. She found that trees in any given area will be interconnected with all other trees in that area regardless of species with the help of fungi that are scavenging for nutrients in the soil. These fungi species will wrap around the roots of the trees as the roots reach out to connect to other trees nearby.

This incredible discovery reveals that trees communicate with each other through a complex underground network much like a brain with neurons and axons. These connections allow trees within an ecosystem to send carbon or other nutrients and information back and forth to whichever tree needs it. This system allows the overall forest of trees to be more resilient to damage, disaster or changes. Trees are amazing entities and now, we can more easily understand them as beings in their unique and fundamental ways.