In a recent entry, we shared news about how talking to your plants really does seem to help them grow. But would you be surprised to learn that plants can communicate with one another?
In this issue, we’ll share extraordinary information about “tree talk.”
They sure can. During an interview with Illinois State University’s National Public Radio affiliate, biologist David Haskell shared the news that trees communicate with one another and other living creatures. He came to this conclusion after spending a year examining trees throughout the world.
During his research, he focused intently on the tiniest of details, including their movement, growth, and sounds.
In Haskell’s case, he attached an ultrasonic detector to the branches of certain trees. According to Haskell, he could hear “sounds of distress or of drought within a twig; a kind of ultrasonic crackling sound.”
In one case, Haskell attached a sensor to a maple twig as water flowed through it for 24 hours. “It was (like) the pulsing of blood through human veins,” he said. Later, he converted the pulses into piano notes. “The fatter the twig, the higher the sound.”
There’s other evidence to suggest that trees also communicate through underground fungi. According to Dr. Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia, the fungi act as a network of sorts for the trees.
Not only do the trees communicate with one another, they also take care of each other, regardless of species.
During one particular experiment, Simard employed radioisotopes to find that carbon, nitrogen, and water were being shared by a Douglas fir and a paper birch tree, both native trees of British Columbia.
Beyond communicating through underground fungi and sharing resources, trees also warn one another through chemical smells about attacks from pests.
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