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  • mm hmm.

  • What do you think?

  • The idea of talking trees has been capturing the human imagination for generations.

  • My bark is worse than my bite.

  • Okay, so maybe they don't talk to us.

  • But it turns out trees can talk to each other.

  • The trees are speaking to each other, but that does beg the question, What do trees have to talk about?

  • And can we learn to speak their language?

  • Mm hmm.

  • Underneath the soil, a vast and interconnected network of life links the trees through their root systems, but they can't talk to each other without help.

  • The whole process starts with hub trees.

  • The oldest and tallest trees in the forest, hub trees have greater access to sunlight and through the process of photosynthesis end up producing more sugar than they actually need.

  • Underground fungi need sugar to survive.

  • Most of their bodies are made up of a mass of threads called mycelium.

  • They grow within the root system of trees to absorb the excess sugar.

  • In return, the mycelium provides the tree with the nutrients it needs from the soil.

  • This symbiotic relationship is known as Michael Rizza, which stems from the greek.

  • Words for fungus and root.

  • These tree fungi relationships connect the trees in the forest together, forming an underground communication network to exchange water and nutrients to nurture their seedlings.

  • Mm hmm.

  • And even send warning signals when under threat.

  • So how many trees are really talking to each other?

  • To get a better picture of these forest relationships.

  • A team of researchers used DNA analysis to map a fungal network in a patch of Canadian forest Remarkably, they found that one tree was connected to 47 other trees.

  • Their models also showed that when hub trees were removed, it would cause more connections to be lost than if trees were simply removed randomly.

  • Studying these kinds of underground exchanges will play a vital role in creating stronger, more resilient forests for the future.

  • So even though we might not be able to talk to trees, at least we can still keep trying to understand their language.

  • Who knows what they might say?

  • Yeah.

mm hmm.

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