Trees chat with one another through the Wood Wide Web of mushroom mycelium by Mary Reid Barrow


Trees talking to one another?

It’s hard to believe and it’s hard to understand.

But science is now telling us that trees actually communicate with each other across the landscape.

Trees telegraph their needs and help their neighbors through an underground network dubbed “The Wood Wide Web.”

As we use our Internet communication system, the World Wide Web, the trees use a network of fungus strands  to talk to send messages to one another.

The strands are called mycelium and they are like the “roots” of the mushrooms and fungus you see growing above ground.  Just dig up a layer of soil in the woods and you will see a network of little white threads going everywhere.

The threads grow in and around the roots of trees and plants and provide nutrients to them.  In turn, the trees nourish the fungi with sugar.

If trees could speak English, just think of what they might say:

“Time for supper,  kids,” the mother tree would say to her seedling babies and she  would then send a nice dose of sugar to her young, via the mushroom mycelium.

“Be careful,” one tree might holler to its buddies by sending chemical alerts through the mycelium network. “Web worms  have arrived and they are eating my leaves!”

This great video from the BBC News is made for young people, but it is very helpful to an old timer like me who’s trying  to gain a basic understanding of the trees’ almost human way of communicating.