Friday, July 7, 2017

A social network

Tim Flannery says that for trees, life ”in the slow lane” is “clearly not always dull”:

But the most astonishing thing about trees is how social they are. The trees in a forest care for each other, sometimes even going so far as to nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down by feeding it sugars and other nutrients, and so keeping it alive. Only some stumps are thus nourished. Perhaps they are the parents of the trees that make up the forest of today.

From the foreword to Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, trans. Jane Billinghurst (Vancouver: Greystone, 2016).
[Two pages in, and I’m gaping.]

comments: 2

Fresca said...

Oh, yes, I had recently written about the underground mushroom network that trees communicate by: truly gape-worthy.
If you continue to like it, I will read this book too.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, the fungi are in the paragraph I quoted from. I’m now a few more pages in, and I did a page-ninety test. And everyone I know who’s read the book has been awed by what it reports. So I’d say it’s worth reading.