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Regional Interests

The woman who would talk to trees

What if, instead of competing with each other as foresters have long thought, trees actually assist each other by passing water and nutrients back and forth? What if they even communicate? Renowned forest ecologist Suzanne Simard has spent her life digging into the “wood wide web”— the mycorrhizal network of fungi and roots through which trees share resources and information. Her work has transformed the way we understand forests and inspired everything from the Tree of Souls in the blockbuster movie “Avatar” to the scientist character in the Pulitzer-winning novel “The Overstory.”

“Timber Wars” host Aaron Scott talked with Simard about her new book, “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest,” for her book launch at Powell’s Books. Prepare to have the way you view forests and trees flipped on its head.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting