Speaking for the Trees …

Under our feet, in the soil traversed by tree roots and fungal networks, an ancient and mysterious conversation is taking place. We are at the very beginning of understanding the nature of the languages used in this conversation. Perhaps it is not their complexity which eludes us, but their simplicity and directness. Like the conversations of trees, human discourse is also electro-chemical in nature, sparked by reactions in the bodies of participants. But human conversations must go through the additional step of translation into spoken or written language, whereas tree conversations are directly chemical-to-chemical. Does this make us more advanced, or simply more complicated?

Tree roots above the ground at Felsenmeer in Lautertal, Odenwald, Germany; part of "Felsberg bei Reichenbach" nature reserve.  Denis Zastanceanu. CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0).

Tree roots above the ground at Felsenmeer in Lautertal, Odenwald, Germany; part of “Felsberg bei Reichenbach” nature reserve. Denis Zastanceanu. CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0).

Links:

Do Trees Talk to Each Other? https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-whispering-trees-180968084/