Is there a secret life when it comes to trees?
Many don’t realize the extraordinary forces at work in a forest.
Only God could have set this in place.
We are only now learning about it!
Did you know, for example, that trees communicate with each other, and even pass along nutrients to fellow trees through colonies of fungus that are spread around and between the roots?
One scientist in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Suzanne Simard, conducted actual on-site experiments showing this to be the case, how carbon was transferred via roots and fungi to needy trees.
It hardly stops there.
Incredible though it seems, trees also use senses of taste and smell. If a giraffe starts eating an Africa acacia, the tree releases a chemical into the air that signals a threat is at hand, notes Peter Wohlleben in The Hidden Life of Trees, and release a toxic chemical that repels the long-necked mammals!
“The saliva of leaf-eating insects can be ‘tasted’ by the leaf being eaten,” says Wohlleben. “In response, the tree sends out a chemical signal that attracts predators that feed on that particular leaf-eating insect.”
But the social communication between trees remains the most astonishing aspect.
Trees in a forest care for each other to such an extent that sometimes they nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down!
(Did you know the oldest tree dates to 9,500 year old?)
Trees regulate their growth to accommodate neighbors — it’s not a simply competitive race but rather a cooperative one.
“Over the centuries, a single fungus can cover many square miles and network an entire forest,” says Wohlleben. “The fungal connections transmit signals from one tree to the next, helping the trees exchange news about insects, drought, and other dangers.
The Canadian researcher, Dr. Simard, can be seen explaining some of it in the video below.
Her goal was to inject her trees growing there in the forest and see if they passed the radioactive isotopes between them — underground. On her first trip out, she put the bags over dozens of test trees and injected them with radioactive tracers. She waited an hour and when the passed her Geiger counter over the leaves and pine needles, carbon-14 from one tree was detected in one that was nearby, and the same was true of the carbon-13. It was a two-way flow. It was as if a birch was saying to a fir: “Hey, can I help you?” And fir was saying, “Yeah! Can you send me some of your carbon, because somebody threw a shake cloth over me?” It turned out not only were they communicating by carbon, but also by way of nitrogen and phosphorous and water…
Only the Lord could put all this together! (Can you see Him in the photo above?)
[Meanwhile, if you want to know if God cares about whether we care for nature, see the video below hers]
[Photo of tree: New Braunfels, Texas – A woman said she saw — and cell-photoed — a silhouette of Jesus on the cross in a towering tree while hiking the Camp Huaco Springs campgrounds; for our reckoning]