Dr. Doolittle learned animal language and communicated with the farmyard. It was fiction.
Tree talk is factual and you should be worried.
Tree communications theory has recently burst upon us as scientific fact. Trees do communicate with each other through underground micro roots. One expert tells us:
Trees are connected through underground fungal networks with electrical impulses. Trees share water and nutrients through the networks and also use them to communicate. They send distress signals about drought and disease, such as insect attacks, and other trees alter their behavior when receiving these mycorrhizal networks messages.
This used to sound like crazy stuff
To earlier generations, that would be crazy talk like Moon Men or Easter bunnies. Even today, some scientists are suspicious of giving trees an intentionality component or ascribing compassion. But nobody disputes the wood-wide-web where trees warn and protect each other.
Peter Wohllenben’s new best seller, “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate,” contains weird and wonderful (and controversial) ideas about tree communications. He suggests trees communicate compassion, charity, and formation of alliances through their fungal filaments.
Where does science stop and speculation begin
I don’t believe in Easter Bunnies, but if the more amazing fairytale story of tree talk is true, what could that mean? What else is the forest discussing? During a lazy summer afternoon with no bugs or fires threats to talk about, will they go silent or not? Are there any electrical messages running through their network on those quiet days? Some trees may be loquacious while others are Asperger jobs?
We know the forest community communicates alarms and threats, but how about opinions, judgments, and ideas? It’s not much of a stretch to go from fire warnings to global warming. After two or three hundred years, you’d think the community elders would learn a thing or two. If they notice a neighbor going up in flames, do they remain unaware of all the sugar maples? The maple trees are leaving town in hoards and heading north because they can’t stand the heat. Does the underground tap root network cover that? Do they opine and cry out about the threat of deplorable human forestry practices?
Have they inquiring minds?
It is certain they communicate and react, but may we one day learn they have inquiring minds? Some community members of the forest may have more liberal moral standards than others on, say, sexual reproduction practices. What goes on in the woods stays in the woods? Who’s the forest prude, and who’s the slut? Do they care or cast a blind eye?
Will some future scientist crack the code and learn to communicate with trees. Could we find out what they really think? This may sound like hocus pocus biology theory. You don’t give a damn what trees say.
Then again,- are you sure? This could spell trouble and come back to bite you.
What have those evergreens in your yard witnessed about the unmentionables in your sordid past? Who’s to say they might not testify and spill the beans on those moral lapses? You should be worried- very worried!