October 05, 2016
Is it possible that trees can actually
talk to each other?
Actually, it is highly possible.
Scientists call the secret communication of trees Wood Wide Web
and just like the term implies, the information exchange resembles
Forester Peter Wohlleben discusses this fascinating theory in
his best-selling book
The Hidden Life of Trees - What They Feel, How
They Communicate - Discoveries from a Secret World.
Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry
commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology
into practice. He now runs an environmentally-friendly woodland in
Germany, where he is working for the return of primeval forests.
He is the author of numerous books about
Life of Trees:
What They Feel, How
Discoveries from a
Are trees social beings?
In this international bestseller,
forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes
the case that, yes, the forest is a social network.
He draws on groundbreaking
scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human
tree parents live together with
their children, communicate with them, support them as they
grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling,
and even warn each other of impending dangers.
Wohlleben also shares his deep love
of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life,
death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the
woods will never be the same again.
According to Wohlleben, trees support
each other with help of social networks.
The trees' roots are responsible for
communication. They are brain-like structures and there are
brain-like process going on. Just like in our nerves, there are
chemical and electrical signals and they can transport information
about, for example insects.
The mother tree can check with its roots the condition on younger
trees, and recognize whether the smaller tree is its own child or a
A young tree is suckled by their mother, like human babies. The
roots are not going all over the ground. Therefore the tree uses a
fungal network that also transports information to next trees and to
trees much further away.
The process is similar to internet and it is therefore called by
scientists the Wood Wide Web.
"Trees care for each other because
one tree is not a forest," Wohlleben says.
Trees can communicate
In the article
Ten Fascinating Facts about Plants,
we have seen that the remarkable and secret world of plants is full
of discoveries that astonish us.
Plants are much more complex and
intelligent that we have previously believed. Not only can they
sing, dance, avoid predators and much more, but they also contain
hidden maps and surprises that reveal they share many similar
properties with humans.
So the idea that trees can communicate with each other is by no
means far-fetched and it only shows there are still many things we
don't know about the wonderful world of nature.