Have you ever been walking in the woods and suddenly feel like you are being watched? Well, if you have, you’re not alone. Many people have said they feel trees are watching them. And now new scientific research has revealed that these feelings are actually true—at least to some extent. Trees communicate with each other and move their branches accordingly, to maximize sunlight exposure and conserve water.
Trees are Social
This communication between the trees is called the forest conversation. It’s not something we can hear, but studies show that if you take soil samples from various locations in the forest, you’ll find that the same kinds of chemicals are present in all of them. The most popular theory to explain this is that trees share their roots and release chemicals into the ground through their roots to warn each other about nearby threats like wildfires or insects. There are also some scientists who believe that through these root connections, one tree will send a warning signal to another tree if it senses an insect near it, which can be useful for staying healthy and maintaining a diverse population of organisms in a habitat.
Why Can’t We Hear the Trees Communicate?
Trees don’t make a sound. The leaves and branches rustle in the wind, but there’s no noise coming from the trunk or any of the branches. There are many theories about why this is, but most scientists agree it has to do with how air moves through trees. Sound waves travel more quickly through solids, so you can hear someone next to a tree because their voice bounces off your ear drum, but not if you’re next to another tree. The sounds become louder as you move closer to the trees on a windy day.
Why it’s Important to Save Tree Species
Trees are a critical part of the environment, and we need them more than ever. They provide us with oxygen, shade, beauty, and so much more. We depend on them just as much as they depend on us. Protecting these trees not only ensures their survival, but also our own. There are many things you can do to help protect these beautiful giants, such as planting native tree species in your yard or donating money towards the World Wildlife Fund. Regardless of what you choose, don’t be afraid to get involved, because saving this planet begins with you!
Ways We Can Stop Deforestation
Deforestation is a major issue for the environment. If we continue to cut down our forests at this rate, there will be no old-growth forest in Canada in 100 years. We can stop deforestation by caring for our forests, volunteering, donating, or planting trees. If you are not able to plant a tree yourself, you can sponsor one for someone else to plant. There are many organizations which do this, such as Reforest America!
Learn More about Plants and How Trees Communicate
The plant kingdom is a complex and diverse ecosystem consisting of over 400,000 species. That’s more than all the mammal, bird, amphibian, fish and insect species combined! Learn about the various plants in nature through our Introduction to Plants course.