Old Growth Forests Allow Mother Trees to Move the Forest's Legacy on to New Generations

Forestry Prof. Suzanne Simard, who lectures on and researches the role of mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal networks at UBC has proven that trees do communicate and share resources like human brains - in networks. Click here is see a great video by Prof. Simard on Mycorrhizal Networks, it shows how the survival of young trees was greatly enhanced when they were linked into the network of the old trees.

Simard's research provides strong evidence that maintaining forest resilience is dependent on conserving mycorrhizal links, and that removal of hub trees could unravel the network and compromise regenerative capacity of the forests. And this link is just in one of the aspects of the fungus interactions, there's all kinds of gases, and fairy dust in the air and underground being exchanged. Do trees communicate? Absolutely.

In describing 'Mother Trees' Simard mentions how only if allowed to happen will the old growth be able to move its legacy to the new generations. That's why every area of original ancient old growth forest is worth fighting for. No matter how small, it contains a unique biological network whose contents can far more easily be expanded at its edges, bit by bit, than starting all over after a clearcut.

The residents of Cortes Island are intent on saving a unique biological network, a part of the 1% of old growth Douglas Fir forest still living, the 'Mother Trees' wish them fair winds.