Mother Trees Keep Forests Healthy

Just as mothers help to make a family strong and connected, mother trees in forests do the same thing for other trees and vegetation.

Ecologist Suzanne Simard recently wrote a book about that called Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. She works at the University of British Columbia. Her book has been so successful that two actors and their production companies secured the film rights for the book.

When Suzanne was growing up, she used to spend time in a forest. Even as a child, she understood there was a connection among everything in the forest. When she grew up, she began to study more about those connections and about how they helped forests stay healthy and heal more easily.

The mother trees in the forest are the biggest and oldest ones. They help to keep other trees, plants and even the soil healthy. Within them are genes that carry ancient memories of how to survive in different kinds of climates. Mother trees also provide homes for many different creatures. They help to provide food for the soil. They help to keep carbon both in the soil and above ground. When they absorb water through their roots, they help to keep that water flowing.

They help to shelter and nurture trees that are a different species than they are. As they help other trees to be healthy, they help everything else in the forest stay healthier too.

Simard talked about how happy she was to be working with the actors and their production companies who bought the film rights to her book. The actors are Amy Adams and her production company Bond Group Entertainment and Jake Gyllenhaal and his production company Nine Stories.

“The forest has taught me that our relationships – with each other and with the trees, plants, and animals around us – are what make our lives beautiful, strong, and healthy,” she said in a statement about the film rights purchase. Though she couldn’t verbally express that concept as a child when she played in the forest, she understood it. Trees, soil, plants, all things that are in a forest share with each other so they can all stay healthy.

The mother trees in the forests

Trees form a community

hold the key to making the trees healthier and more resilient. Within their make-up they carry the knowledge needed to help forests survive today. Because of that, mother trees need to be protected and valued.

Simard understands how important that is. She is glad her message is getting out through her best-selling book. She is also glad it will spread even further once the film based on her book becomes a reality.

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