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Turns out, everything you ever needed to know, you can learn from a tree.
As we humans vehemently argue politics, what side you should be on, who we should help, who we shouldn’t help, who we should have compassion for who we should not and what it means to be safe in this world…..the trees have always known.
Students at the Institute for Environmental Research at Aachen University (RWTH Aachen) discovered something amazing about photosynthesis in undisturbed beech forests. Each beech tree grows in a unique location, and conditions can vary greatly in just a few yards. The soil can be stony or loose. It can retain a great deal of water or almost no water. It can be full of nutrients or extremely barren. Accordingly, each tree experiences different growing conditions; therefore, each tree grows more quickly or slowly and produces more or less sugar or wood, and thus you would expect every tree to be photosynthesizing at a different rate. And that’s what makes the research results so astounding. The rate of photosynthesis is the same for all trees. The trees it seems are equalizing differences between the strong and the weak. This equalization is taking place underground through the roots. There’s obviously a lively exchange going on down there. Whoever has an abundance of sugar, hands some over; whoever is running short, gets help.” The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
The trees help each other. They share all their resources equally amongst each other.
Trees don’t discriminate with other species either. They actually share resources with all kinds of different types of trees. Why do they do this? Because unlike humans, trees somehow understand that their individual survival is dependant on the overall health of the ENTIRE forest. The trees know that there is a symbiosis between all of the trees and plants that’s crucial for all to thrive.
All the flora and fauna help each other. Not passively, but deliberately. For instance, mycelium (the ‘roots’ of mushrooms) underground network works with the trees to facilitate communication. Yes, the trees talk to each other. In ways, we could have never imagined. Trees communicate not only chemically, but electrically, through cross-species like the fungi and also through scent in the air. They even have warning systems (like when being eaten by animals) that can broadcast alarms to each other.
Trees are smarter than we are. How different the world would be if we understood that all of the things we think are “unintelligent” are actually, highly evolved, wise, alive and interconnected. How different it would be if we really knew that the health of ALL of us is the health of each of us?
It has always felt to me that so much of our ancient wisdom has been lost and that we are simply rediscovering things we already knew centuries ago. I’ve never understood this. Why did we have to lose it, to begin with? Why do we have to have ‘science’ now prove things that have been true all along? I may never understand this, but it’s comforting to me to know the plants still hold the wisdom for us. While we slowly begin to comprehend that all of our knowledge and intelligence has led us astray. Connection, love, and sharing is not only something to aspire to, it’s crucial to our survival. The Trees have always known.