The Wood Wide Web


I sometimes feel I pretty-much understand the natural world. Then I find myself saying, “What else don’t we know?”

We are a social species, we humans. We’ve thrived on sharing news, ideas, insights we have gained through experience. We’ve shared information with each other through millennia, from over-the-fire-cave-chatter to over-the-fence gossip…to Facebook Friendships. These bonds of communication help species to survive.

Today we exchange information with the speed of thought, as if the surface of the globe were a network of brain synapses passing on electric currents of data.

But I’ve learned over the weekend that a “wood wide web” on our globe has been around longer than electricity, longer than the cave fires that burned the wood.

Autumn reflectionDSC_0084 UM 98.jpg

Connetquot River State Park Preserve

There’s a natural web that connects trees, a web that was unknown to me and maybe to you. Yes, forest synapses have been passing information under my feet as I hiked wooded trails and public parks.


Trees learn, remember, communicate, nourish…through a network. From, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

I’ve discovered that there was much more going on than I suspected: Trees, sharing, nourishing, protecting each other, through a network, right under the soles of my Timberlines, without my knowledge…without my suspicion.

Snow treeIMGP5003.jpg

A birch’s whisper to the forest, “Does  this snow make my bark look fat?”

Maybe you caught this revelation in the NY Times. If not, let me pass the piece on to you that tells about Peter Wohlleben and his book, The Hidden Life of Trees,

A plant that counts:

What else don’t we know?

Be well,



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