How do trees talk to each other?

I am so in awe of nature and how she is teaching us, reaching out to us so that we become better. Better stewards, better co-partners with her in all her diversity.
How is that happening? Suzanne Simard, from Canada, relates to us in this TED talk what her observations and studies show concerning the complexity of a forest.
Trees share information below ground. Hub trees or mother trees send carbon to seedlings. When she is injured she sends messages to her seedlings, the next generation of trees. She sends more carbon and defense signals to support their growth and longevity.

Suzanne has discovered that trees are super cooperators sharing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, hormones and more. The mycorrhizal network, fungal threads create a fantastic below ground highway where trade agreements occur, where substances are delivered not only among species but can include their neighbors. She also reminds us that the forest has a tremendous ability to self-heal too. So, what can we do to help our forests? Suzanne leaves us with 4 tips. I thought they were worthwhile so I will summarize them here.

    1. Get into the forest and get involved with local forestry programs. These folks know the local conditions.
    2. Save old growth forests. Why? they are genetic banks for species and mycorrhizal networks.
    3. When cutting down forests be conservative. Do some research. Where are the hub trees?
    4. Give forests the tools to regenerate and self heal

Woodrow Nelson from the Arbor Day foundation’s Time for Trees, podcast guest this week, describes the foundation’s incredible initiative to plant 100,000,000 trees by 2022. And, they are one-third of the way there. Impressive. Want to get involved? Click on the link and they will help you get started.

Trees are simply magnificent in their strength, their beauty, and their gifts. It’s time we appreciate the intelligence within our forests. What can you do today? Let us know. We appreciate your stories.

Enjoy. Judith

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Woodrow Nelson, Time for Trees

Description: Planting trees is one of the main focuses for the Arbor Day Foundation. Today’s guest, Woodrow Nelson, tree lover, and planter, talks about the Arbor Day Foundation’s initiative to plant 100,000,000 trees by 2022. What is truly remarkable is that they are one-third of the way there.

Join us as we talk about trees, their benefits, and how we can help replant especially in disaster sites such as those hit by wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

About My Guest: Woodrow Nelson is a lifelong tree planter while growing up in several Midwest states through a business career in California and Ohio before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, to join the Executive Management Team of the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation in 2006. He is inspired by hundreds of thousands of Arbor Day Foundation members, engaging them in the conservation work of the Foundation with impact in neighborhoods, communities, and forests across the globe. Woody and his wife, Joyce, enjoy time together with their children and grandchildren.

More about the Foundation at arborday.org

More about the Time for Trees initiative at timefortrees.org

Transcript: #67 Woodrow Nelson 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Katherine Hauswirth, Author, Naturalist

Description: This week we follow a different path into nature. Katherine is a writer and her book, A Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail, takes us into the woods, down trails sharing with us her keen observations. Then she traverses into the research end to support what she has found with more accuracy. Katherine suggests we take more time on our hikes, meander more. Nature is full of surprises. Walking slowly, with more mindfulness and focus on one aspect in the stillness can bring many surprises. Join us for an enlightening discussion about observing nature and the art of nature writing.

About my Guest: Katherine Hauswirth writes about nature and contemplation. Her blog, First Person Naturalist, reflects on experiencing nature and she has been published in The Christian Science Monitor, Orion online, Whole Life Times, Connecticut Woodlands, and Spirituality & Health. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Trail Wood in Connecticut in 2015 and at Acadia National Park in 2017. Katherine won first prize in the Soul-Making Keats Literary Competition last year. Her book with Homebound Publications, The Book of Noticing: Collections and Connections on the Trail, received Honorable Mention for General Nonfiction from the American Society of Journalists and Authors in 2018.

Transcript: #49 Katherine Hauswirth

Please note: Katherine refers to the concepts I outlined in the introduction, where I explain the qualities of the four directions based on my spin of the wheel To listen to the Introduction go to: https://wp.me/pahVd2-17k

 

Blog: Do Trees Breathe?

 

 

 

I am fascinated with trees. There’s new and maybe not so new research showing us their complexity and their extensive ecosystems that exist beyond our ordinary senses. We know they communicate through their root systems to each other. They send nutrients to a family member in need. They will also share water. Roots are connected by a mycorrhizal hypha network of fungi creating a kind of highway and inner net within the soil beneath the forest floor. Debris and leaves, insects and critters, microscopic nutrients and various species exist within the canopy of a forest and its layers. Mother trees help and support their young ones. And did you know they can cry when in need?

My guest this week, Lois Grasso, author, and transformational breath practitioner spoke about using the power of our breath as a healing modality. We can get stuck emotionally and hold our breath, maybe not dramatically but enough to block our connection to the best part of self. Since this blog and podcast series: Holistic Nature of Us is concerned with all the parts functioning optimally here within us as a human being and within all aspects of this planet, I wondered about trees. Air is an element that governs this planet. There would be no breathable air without our plant kingdoms.

She got me thinking about trees, our relationship with them and how they are suffering today. I read a report through my Master Gardener office last week that trees here in CT are suffering. In certain areas, they got hit two years in a row with gypsy moth infestations. The first year of the moths we were in our second year of a drought. Both factors weaken a tree, both factors open the door to their demise. When growing by roadways, they pose a hazard if and when they should topple over. The cost to remove them is also a factor that towns and the state have to consider for budget concerns.

But let’s get back to breath and breathing. Our first breath gives us life. Without our breath, we cease to exist. Our first responders know only too well that evaluating our breathing is critical to triage work. Life and death are only one breath away. How does a tree breathe? The leaves on trees and needles on our conifers have narrow slits on their undersides, openings that allow them to exhale and inhale. Roots can do the same thing too.

” A tree breathes through its leaves using chlorophyll, the substance that makes leaves green. Chlorophyll absorbs CO2 from the air and uses it alongside water to break down minerals absorbed through the tree’s roots. While trees do not technically breathe, respiration is comparable to inhaling air into the lungs and photosynthesis is comparable to exhaling.” (From youtube video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXTYZpZNqrA)

We inhale O2 and exhale CO2 due to complex cellular processes. Trees use CO2 to make food and release O2 in this process which is photosynthesis.

BeaTzJooDy / Pixabay

What happens at night when the sun goes down? Since photosynthesis relies on sunlight to
ignite the metabolic processes within plants, photosynthesis ceases and trees breathe in O2. too.
So they exhale O2 during the day but need O2 at night.

We take breathing for granted. Breathing can be soft or filled with emotion. There’s nothing like the soft gentle breath of a newborn babe. You could say breath is connected to touch. Trees breathe and we can feel the breath of a forest that maybe quite literally takes our breath away.

I hope you will breathe with more mindfulness today and awareness that trees breathe too. During the day we have a breathing relationship with them: we breathe in O2 and exhale CO2 while trees breathe in our CO2 and give us O2. We are connected in very profound ways.

Remember all comments are appreciated. Please like and share. Thanks.
Judith

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast: Holistic Nature of Us: Meet Katrina VanDeusen, Ecological Engineer

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Description: What is phytoremediation? It’s plant-based solutions to healing toxic spills on our land. Katrina, ‘Kat’ VanDuesen explains how our invaluable plants clean up toxic waste and contamination whether metals, radiation, oils and other contaminants. Serious health issues, as well as health issues within our soil, water, and air, are well documented from some of these very toxic spills. Ecological environmental applications work. Kat tells us how nature has solutions.

About My Guest: Katrina. VanDeusen is an Environmental Scientist with over 20 years of broad-based professional experience in environmental applications developing multi-media remediation strategies for both public and private sector clients in the New York City metropolitan area.  Her technical experience includes Phase I, Phase II Site Investigations, Preliminary Assessments, Ecological Evaluations, Remedial Investigation, Remedial Alternatives Analysis, Environmental Site Assessments, design of bioremediation systems, due diligence, legal support, wetland delineation, hydrology assessments, sensitive habitat multimedia sampling, community and habitat surveys, ecological engineering/restoration for both hazardous and non-hazardous sites.  Ms. VanDeusen’s technical writing skills include Preliminary Assessment reports, Remedial Action Workplans and reports, Site Investigation and Remedial Investigation reports, NEPA reports, Phase I and Phase II technical reports, environmental liability assessments, Vapor Intrusion Reports, wetland delineation and ecological restoration reports.

Transcript: #27 Kat VanDuesen 

Blog: Biomimicry: Nature’s Secrets: Hidden Unity and Instructions

I am so inspired by the work of this Institute and their vision. Posing challenges with the intent of looking for nature-inspired solutions creates innovation from the most unlikely of species and functions in nature. Jeanine Benyus asks these questions: How would nature solve this? How does nature optimize energy usage? How does nature create multiple functions?

She leaves us with these thoughts:

  • “The best ideas may not be ours.”
  • Life runs on sunlight and wastes nothing.
  • Everything is upcycled.
  • We are a very young species. What would happen if we saw ourselves as apprentices?

My podcast guest this week, Erika Harrison, principal of Eco-Tone Advisors and president of the Board of Directors for the Biomimicry Institute, ignited my sense of curiosity with her passion for the innovation and possibilities this Institute generates. She reminds me how intelligent nature is. As Jeanine says, “If we could quiet our clevermind”, what wonders would we witness and what solutions could we create? I highly recommend their website. Many challenges are explained and how nature provided solutions. Inspiring. Provocative. Engaging. Timely.

Enjoy and please share. Your comments are appreciated.

Judith

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