Trees have been around much longer than humans. In existence for 370 million years, it is estimated that there are just over 3 trillion mature trees in the world. They were amongst the first entities that started to construct towards the heavens and it is now becoming widely accepted by scientists worldwide that they don’t live in isolation at all, even though they don’t move.
Scientists who have been studying the Canadian boreal forests state that trees have a social life and even work together.
Ms. Annie Desrochers, a Quebec biologist, explained: “We have this idea that trees are independent individuals…but what we have discovered is that they’re not independent, they will form unions.”
Yes, via their roots trees are linked up to their neighbors and so try to work together to share resources, fend off predators and they can even change weather patterns.
“I think the most important thing to take away is that whatever you do to a tree will not only affect that tree; it will affect its neighbor if it’s connected to it.”
They even share a social community with the moss on the ground, which is for example regarded as the best friend to the black spruces in the forests of northern Saskatchewan. The moss helps to keep the roots moist and damp whilst the tree provides share and because of the fact that spruces have needles and not leaves, the moss is not covered in leaves during colder periods.
And when it gets too hot in summer, they release a chemical compound called terpenes, which humans recognize as that ‘fresh cut pine’ scent. These molecules float up towards the sky and mix with ozone. Once they get big enough, water vapor condenses on them and clouds are born, which then result in rain and thus water for the trees.
“Trees create the weather they want, and the clouds they seed can influence the weather across the entire northern hemisphere.”