Decades ago, when forest ecologist Suzanne Simard set out to understand why forests tended to heal themselves when left to their own devices, she uncovered early evidence that trees communicate with each other, lending mutual aid during times of duress. Over the years her research deepened and expanded, marked by discoveries that trees relay information through cryptic underground fungal networks and that old trees, known as mother trees, can discern which seedlings are their own and transmit food and water to them. We’ll talk to Simard about her work, and the intertwined story of her family, all chronicled in her new book “Finding the Mother Tree.”
Suzanne Simard on the Intelligence of the Forest
Coastal Redwood trees stand at Muir Woods National Monument on August 20, 2013 in Mill Valley, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Suzanne Simard, professor of forest ecology, University of British Columbia; author of "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest"